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Population: key to strong leasing growth.

With a retail vacancy rate in Jamaica, Queens of only 2 percent at a time when retail estate around the city is going empty, it would be natural to ask those of us who do business in this community: |What's your secret?"

There are several reasons for our success. For years, we have operated two special assessment districts, the first in the city, and the forerunner of today's more common business improvement districts. Jamaica is a transportation hub, and the major subway transfer point for residents of southeast Queens. We have an active Chamber of Commerce that assists local businesses with everything from job training programs to liaison with city and state government.

One of the greatest strengths we have, however, is the population of our community. The residents of Jamaica are one of the main factors in contributing to the vitality of our real estate market and leasing activity of our retail space.

The stability of Jamaica's populace adds to our economic stability. Their relatively high per capita income translates into revenue for local businesses. Stability and revenues translate into success for retailers and other businesses and strength in our real estate market.

A recent report on statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau found that the median income among black residents of Queens was $34,500, virtually identical to that of white residents, and higher than the statewide median of $32,965. And the median income of black households in Queens role by 31 percent in the past decade.

If one were to describe the ideal environment in which to encourage development, in which to locate a business, it would be one in which there was a stable population, with relatively high income. It would have good transportation system so that residents could get to and from the business district easily and a strong business network to support new enterprises.

As the economy begins to turn around in the coming months, we begin to see signs of economic development and business expansion in those communities, like Jamaica, that display those attributes.
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Title Annotation:Review and Forecast, Section V; Jamaica, Queens, New York has low retail vacancy rate
Author:Richards, Robert
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 24, 1992
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