Construction has started on a Downtown Jamaica co-working and training facility near Parsons Boulevard, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office on Wednesday.
The expected 12,000-square-foot space is a part of the $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative to boost the economy and modernize infrastructure in that area, according to governor.ny.gov.
The co-working and training facility space has received a $1.65 million grant that would provide room for up to 80 entrepreneurs and freelancers to have an affordable workspace and business equipment.
The purpose of the project is to turn Jamaica into a major economic hub, according to the governor’s office.
“Across New York, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative is transforming communities into engines that help power entire regions’ economies — including right here in Jamaica,” said Cuomo. “This co-working space will bring entrepreneurs from across New York City to Queens and provide a launching pad for our state’s next generation of homegrown businesses.”
The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, a business development organization, will $5.1 million to further develop the Moda Building’s co-working and training facility, according to GJDC CEO Hope Knight. The space will also provide 255 jobs.
“The Downtown Revitalization Initiative and previous investments by Cuomo Administration are attracting private investment, development activity and jobs in Jamaica, which has expanded the local economy and created opportunities for local residents and business,” said Knight.
The governor’s office says that space will be affordable, but an exact price has not been disclosed as of yet.
Similar co-working spaces in Long Island City and Astoria like QNS Collective, WeWork, Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge, Spaces and the Oracle Club range from $150/month to over $250 for one person up or $280/month to over $3,500 for two or more people.
State Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) believes it is about time that such an investment was made in southeast Queens.
“Jamaica is rich with entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity, but there is a need for affordable and modern spaces for budding businesses to flourish,” said Comrie.”This co-working space will provide a supportive and collaborative environment for folks to exchange ideas as they start and grow their businesses.”
Assemblywoman Vivian Cook (D-Jamaica) also sees the purpose of the space for the growing needs of Jamaica.
“To continue this progress, we must provide affordable, accessible space for entrepreneurs,” said Cook. “This new co-working facility will equip Jamaica’s entrepreneurs with the resources they need to succeed.”
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz thinks the project will push Jamaica forward technologically.
“The Downtown Jamaica Co-Working and Training Facility will be a boon to the neighborhood by being an incubator of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship,” said Katz.