Bruce Brodoff Communications
Bruce Brodoff Communications
NYC Business and Political Leaders Gather in Lower Manhattan to Promote Jamaica/JFK Rail Link Project

Greater Jamaica Development Corporation's Gala Salutes Project Proponents John E. Zuccotti and Congressman Gregory W. Meeks

Greater Jamaica Development Corporation's (GJDC) October 16th Gala, "Saluting New York Visionaries," will highlight the prospect of a new direct rail link from Lower Manhattan to JFK International Airport and the Long Island Rail Road, and how it can serve to strengthen both the Downtown and Jamaica business communities.

The gala, which will be held on Monday, October 16 from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park, will be chaired by HSBC Bank, USA Senior Executive Vice President David C. Kotheimer; Association for a Better New York Chairman William C. Rudin; and Real Estate Board of New York President Steven Spinola.

The evening's honorees are Brookfield Properties U.S. Chairman John E. Zuccotti and U.S. Representative Gregory W. Meeks, distinguished public servants who have helped to advance the Lower Manhattan to Jamaica/JFK Rail Link.

The Lower Manhattan-Jamaica/JFK Rail Link will provide a one-seat ride to and from Lower Manhattan for commuters from Long Island and travelers using JFK Airport. Improved access to these areas will increase the global competitiveness of New York City and help boost the city's long-term economic development and job creation efforts.

"This rail link is a transportation investment that will not only contribute to the economic revitalization of Lower Manhattan and Jamaica, as well as downtown Brooklyn, but will also increase the region's economic prosperity and improve the quality of life for those who live and work in New York," said Mr. Zuccotti. "Downtown businesses have been pushing the concept to increase the area's competitive position, and the new link championed by Mayor Bloomberg and supported by Governor Pataki would be a potent and crucial improvement to achieve that goal, while greatly easing the commute for Long Island residents and offering a one-seat ride to JFK airport. I also want to thank Congressmen Meeks for his important and steadfast leadership in the process to translate this vision into reality."

"The Lower Manhattan-to-Jamaica/JFK Rail link will not only have a far-reaching impact on the region's connectivity, growth and sustainability, but will also help further the development of a vibrant, mixed use community in the AirTrain/Jamaica Station area," said Congressman Gregory W. Weeks. "Linking the vital Lower Manhattan and Jamaica, Queens business districts will stimulate economic development and tourism, with significant opportunity for serving the residents of Southern Queens and the region."

Downtown Jamaica is one of the most heavily used commercial hubs in North America and has long been shaped by regional transportation investments. As the idea of transit-oriented development catches on across the country as a way to generate activity and economic growth, Jamaica is in a strong position to capitalize on the accessibility and connectivity provided by the new rail link to remake the downtown Station Area into a lively multipurpose district where people can live, work, shop and play.

"For Jamaica, this new connector represents an exciting opportunity for mixed-use, transit-oriented development, " said Greater Jamaica Development Corporation Chairman David C. Kotheimer. "The Rail Link will strengthen Jamaica's growing downtown as a regional destination, enhancing its new potential as a business center supportive of aviation and related industries. Working together community, business, and government stakeholders can encourage jobs, housing and economic opportunities at both ends of this new transit capacity."

Surveys conducted by the Alliance for Downtown New York revealed that a direct rail link from Lower Manhattan to Long Island and JFK International Airport is a top transit priority for many of downtown's major companies. Lower Manhattan business interests have pushed strongly for the rail link to create direct access to the suburban labor market, as workers living on Long Island must take the Long Island Rail Road into Midtown and then the subway downtown. This is a primary reason that many businesses choose Midtown over Downtown in deciding where to locate or expand their offices.

"The importance of the Lower Manhattan-Jamaica /JFK Transportation Project cannot be overstated," said Eric Deutsch, President of the Downtown Alliance. "Improved commuter and airport access is critical to Lower Manhattan's ability to continue to attract new firms and remain an economic engine for the region. This rail link will create a new regional transportation network, connecting people and places for the very first time in New York City history, and is vital to the future of Lower Manhattan as a premier business center."

Of the estimated $6 billion cost to build the rail link, a significant portion of the budget - $3.8 billion has been identified. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has committed $560 million (with Governor George E. Pataki requesting an additional $1 billion) and the Metropolitan Transit Authority has committed $500 million through both its Capital Program and the Transportation Bond Act. In July 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation providing $1.75 billion in tax credits for the project, and it is anticipated that final approval of this funding which is part of the Tax Extender Package will likely come by the end of the year. Mr. Zuccotti pointed out that that the federal tax credits are part of the funds explicitly earmarked to assist Lower Manhattan recover from the destruction of 9/11.

Greater Jamaica Development Corporation's Gala 2006; Saluting New York Visionaries will bring together the businesses, banks, community groups, political leaders, and individuals who are contributing to the growth and revitalization of Jamaica, Lower Manhattan and all of New York. For more information about the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and Gala 2006, visit

Greater Jamaica Development Corporation is a community-building organization that plans, promotes, coordinates and advances responsible development to revitalize Jamaica and strengthen the region.

Marshalling the resources of the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, GJDC's work expands economic opportunity and improves quality of life for the ethnically and economically diverse residents of Jamaica and for the region at large, which benefits from rational, well-planned and sustainable metropolitan growth.

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