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Old 07-22-2010, 05:47 AM
 
98 posts, read 194,606 times
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Default What's happened to Queens (Jamaica, Far Rock, etc.)?

I was born and raised in Jamaica Queens. I am 46. I moved to Brooklyn at 25 and pretty much never returned to QUeens after that. I reside in CLinton Hills now which, like all parts of downtown Brooklyn, has become more upscale. I recently drove out to Long Beach and took a tour of my old neighborhoods specifically, Jamaica (Around Rochdale Village), Green Acres Mall(In Nassau) and Far Rockaway. Those places looked run down and awful. Doesnt seem to be alot of development either since I left 20 years ago.

IT seems everywhere I look in Brooklyn is coming up and certain parts of QUeens look like they are going down. Any ideas?
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:58 AM
Status: "RIP Lucky. You were a great cat." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: NYC
2,110 posts, read 2,492,154 times
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Well, I wouldn't say it looks awful. As with the rest of the city, it has become safer and cleaner than it was back in the 80s. You and I are part of the same generation. My family lived in Rochdale (1964 - 1968) then moved to Laurelton (1968 - 2000). I came back and forth throughout the 1980s and left for good in 1991.

During the late 90s - early 00s, the old guard of SEQueens started moving out. At the same time, there was an increase in the development of cheap, multi-family housing. Add to that the fact that some of the old guard still own their homes but are now renting them. I wouldn't be surprised if many of these renters are receiving section 8 vouchers. So, instead of a solidly middle class community, you now have a working/lower middle class community. Also, SEQueens was hit hard in this latest economic downturn, and has one of the highest foreclosure rates in Queens. Your current residents don't have enough money to keep their houses let alone maintain them like they did when I was a kid. The differences are subtle, but I see them clearly since I am able to make a comparison.

If you think about neighborhood improvement as being directly correlated to commuting distance to Manhattan, you can see that most of it occurred within a certain geographic radius. Distance from "the core" is one of the key drivers of gentrification, which leads to overall neighborhood improvement. SEQueens is simply too far from "the core" of things to gentrify. It also has too many strikes against it to be on the radar of people who tend to be catalysts for change (e.g., hipsters & yuppies -- blacks included).

For example,
1) it's in a two-fare zone or requires travel on an express bus or the LIRR to Manhattan (it is convenient if you work in the area or if you work on LI, though)
2) it's too dull for people who want culture/restaurants/bars/lounges, etc.
3) it's too ethnic for some people, given it's mainly Caribbean black, African American and African demographic
4) it has under performing schools, which is a "no no" for competitive parents
5) the teenagers are idle, loitering around and getting into trouble
6) middle income black families, who used to be the mainstay of this community now have other options and now live in the 'burbs, exurbia, and the southeast.
7) black singles who can afford to leave the family home and stay in the City have moved to Brooklyn, Harlem, and "closer in" Queens neighborhoods.

On a positive note, I have always loved the part of Laurelton, just south of Merrick Blvd. You won't find too many neighborhoods with that quality of English Tudor homes. It rivals Forest Hills Gardens, IMO. They should be trying to get Landmark status there, which would give the nabe a needed boost.
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Jamaica, NY
61 posts, read 102,658 times
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Actually there has been a lot of new development and even more in the making.
See the plan: The Jamaica Plan - Department of City Planning
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:04 AM
 
343 posts, read 503,148 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queensgrl View Post
Well, I wouldn't say it looks awful. As with the rest of the city, it has become safer and cleaner than it was back in the 80s. You and I are part of the same generation. My family lived in Rochdale (1964 - 1968) then moved to Laurelton (1968 - 2000). I came back and forth throughout the 1980s and left for good in 1991.

During the late 90s - early 00s, the old guard of SEQueens started moving out. At the same time, there was an increase in the development of cheap, multi-family housing. Add to that the fact that some of the old guard still own their homes but are now renting them. I wouldn't be surprised if many of these renters are receiving section 8 vouchers. So, instead of a solidly middle class community, you now have a working/lower middle class community. Also, SEQueens was hit hard in this latest economic downturn, and has one of the highest foreclosure rates in Queens. Your current residents don't have enough money to keep their houses let alone maintain them like they did when I was a kid. The differences are subtle, but I see them clearly since I am able to make a comparison.

If you think about neighborhood improvement as being directly correlated to commuting distance to Manhattan, you can see that most of it occurred within a certain geographic radius. Distance from "the core" is one of the key drivers of gentrification, which leads to overall neighborhood improvement. SEQueens is simply too far from "the core" of things to gentrify. It also has too many strikes against it to be on the radar of people who tend to be catalysts for change (e.g., hipsters & yuppies -- blacks included).

For example,
1) it's in a two-fare zone or requires travel on an express bus or the LIRR to Manhattan (it is convenient if you work in the area or if you work on LI, though)
2) it's too dull for people who want culture/restaurants/bars/lounges, etc.
3) it's too ethnic for some people, given it's mainly Caribbean black, African American and African demographic
4) it has under performing schools, which is a "no no" for competitive parents
5) the teenagers are idle, loitering around and getting into trouble
6) middle income black families, who used to be the mainstay of this community now have other options and now live in the 'burbs, exurbia, and the southeast.
7) black singles who can afford to leave the family home and stay in the City have moved to Brooklyn, Harlem, and "closer in" Queens neighborhoods.

On a positive note, I have always loved the part of Laurelton, just south of Merrick Blvd. You won't find too many neighborhoods with that quality of English Tudor homes. It rivals Forest Hills Gardens, IMO. They should be trying to get Landmark status there, which would give the nabe a needed boost.

This is as accurate as it gets.

Sidebar about Rochdale: There is a board of directors there, that is terrible. They've been in power for 20+ years and that's the reason why Rochdale hasn't progressed. It's a great community, in size and infrastructure, but the infighting does no good for it. The back and forth between Wentworth, Marion Scott and The Resident's can't agree on anything.

Also, the wave of current West Indian Immigrants to the neighborhood, aren't of the middle class like they were in previous waves, hence the run down look. This generation of immigrants seem to prefer the shanty style way of living.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:09 AM
Status: "RIP Lucky. You were a great cat." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: NYC
2,110 posts, read 2,492,154 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenzGurl View Post
Actually there has been a lot of new development and even more in the making.
See the plan: The Jamaica Plan - Department of City Planning
I am aware of the plan for Jamaica but I am also uncertain about it's impact on SE Queens, in general. The neighborhoods that the OP focused on are at least five miles from Central Jamaica. Remember, that people living on the fringes of Queens tend to be more suburban and mobile -- they own cars and drive, which makes them independent of Jamaica. Most people living in nabes like St. Albans, Laurelton, Cambria Heights and Springfield Gardens utilize businesses in Nassau County. If Jamaica can somehow get beyond it's governmental focus and attract new, private businesses, and retail on par with Nassau County (or Queens Center, even) then maybe it will be able to switch direction. As for it's impact on the immediate surrounding area (between Liberty Ave to the south and Hillside Avenue to the north) it can only improve. I guess time will tell the impact on the rest of SE Queens.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:12 AM
Status: "RIP Lucky. You were a great cat." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: NYC
2,110 posts, read 2,492,154 times
Reputation: 934
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoros View Post
This is as accurate as it gets.

Sidebar about Rochdale: There is a board of directors there, that is terrible. They've been in power for 20+ years and that's the reason why Rochdale hasn't progressed. It's a great community, in size and infrastructure, but the infighting does no good for it. The back and forth between Wentworth, Marion Scott and The Resident's can't agree on anything.
Is Rochdale still in the Mitchell Lama program or is it privately-owned now? Do you happen to know where I can look up the qualifications for Rochdale (just curious).
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Old 07-22-2010, 03:59 PM
 
343 posts, read 503,148 times
Reputation: 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by queensgrl View Post
Is Rochdale still in the Mitchell Lama program or is it privately-owned now? Do you happen to know where I can look up the qualifications for Rochdale (just curious).
Still Mitchell-Lama.

Jr. 1BR $ 525.05 - $ 713.87 $ 7,200
1BR $ 584.47 - $ 930.44 $ 8,400
1BR Terrace $ 689.54 - $ 1,030.78 $ 9,600
2BR $ 788.84 - $ 1,073.00 $ 10,800
2BR Terrace $ 729.57 - $ 1,129.18 $ 12,000
3BR $ 1,049.68 - $ 1,357.46 $ 14,400
3BR Terrace $ 1,131.34 - $ 1,438.43 $ 15,600
INCOME REQUIREMENTS
Apartment
Size Household
Composition Income Range
1-3 People Income Range
4-6 People
Jr. 1BR 1 to 2 People $ 58,051.88 - $ 70,472.64 N/A
1BR 1 to 2 People $ 64,808.52 - $ 76,970.88 N/A
1BR Terrace 1 to 2 People $ 75,124.08 - $ 81,437.16 N/A
2BR 1 to 4 People $ 88,360.11 - $ 91,801.08 $ 100,255.36 - $ 104,915.52
2BR Terrace 1 to 4 People $ 96,201.84 - $ 100,684.12 $ 109,829.76 - $ 115,067.52
3BR 2 to 6 People $ 109,147.92 - $ 118,499.64 $ 129,540.48 - $ 135,428.16
3BR Terrace 2 to 6 People $ 116,264.40 - $ 129,289.44 $ 138,153.60 - $ 147,759.36
For a limited time, only (until June 20, 2011) one person can be eligible for a 2 bedroom apartment (was 2-4 people) and households of 2 to 3 people can be eligible for a three bedroom apartment (was 4-6 people).
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
878 posts, read 1,770,287 times
Reputation: 301
I was raised for a large part of my life in Hollis, Queens and it is interesting to hear other people observations about the area. Once I moved back to Brooklyn (where I was born), I have not really returned to Queens except on special occassions. It is interesting to hear the observations of those that still live there and those that have moved away from there. I do agree that Southeastern Queens is really inconvenient with the two-fare zones and lack of significant night life to be part of the gentrification wave but it should be able to attract more stable middle class families that want a suburban like community but is stilll close enough that they can enjoy the nightlife in Manhattan. When I lived there, Linden Blvd was striving to be a destination place for people in the area (i.e, Manhattan Proper) so I am wondering if Linden ever become that destination place?
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:09 PM
Status: "RIP Lucky. You were a great cat." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: NYC
2,110 posts, read 2,492,154 times
Reputation: 934
Quote:
Originally Posted by drkman View Post
When I lived there, Linden Blvd was striving to be a destination place for people in the area (i.e, Manhattan Proper) so I am wondering if Linden ever become that destination place?
Unfortunately it did not.

My sense is that there's too much competition from Nassau County, which offers a grand variety of "family friendly" entertainment. Think about it ... It's easier to get from Laurelton to Roosevelt Field than it is to get to Downtown Brooklyn. The "old timers" will tell you that the LI malls killed the small town businesses in the SEQueens border communities. I tend to agree with them.
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:11 PM
 
343 posts, read 503,148 times
Reputation: 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by drkman View Post
I was raised for a large part of my life in Hollis, Queens and it is interesting to hear other people observations about the area. Once I moved back to Brooklyn (where I was born), I have not really returned to Queens except on special occassions. It is interesting to hear the observations of those that still live there and those that have moved away from there. I do agree that Southeastern Queens is really inconvenient with the two-fare zones and lack of significant night life to be part of the gentrification wave but it should be able to attract more stable middle class families that want a suburban like community but is stilll close enough that they can enjoy the nightlife in Manhattan. When I lived there, Linden Blvd was striving to be a destination place for people in the area (i.e, Manhattan Proper) so I am wondering if Linden ever become that destination place?
I've always said that as well. Linden Blvd in Cambria Heights between Springfield and the Cross Island, has HUGE Potential for bars, restaurants, etc.

The CHDC (cambria heights development corporation) is a sham, just take a look at their website. They claim to want to bring business in and promote the community, I haven't seen it.

With the LIRR access the area is very attractive, under 30 minutes to Penn Station and Downtown Brooklyn. There are several express buses as well.

There is a lack of younger middle class folks, and the african-american business people are absent when it comes to new ideas..

A large older population, and lack of condo's, apartments for younger professionals could be the cause too.

Rochdale has huge potential for that, but thats a whole different can of worms.
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