Name: Hope Knight
Title: President & CEO
Company Name: Greater Jamaica Development Corp.
Years in your current field: 3
What professional organizations or associations are you a member of? Regional Plan Association, Carver Bank Community Development Corp., Grameen America and Morgan Stanley New Markets, NYC City Planning Commission, Board of Trustees of Marymount Manhattan College
What was your most notable project in 2017?
We pride ourselves on understanding, better than anyone, Jamaica’s real estate market. Recognizing the unmet demand for local, mixed-income housing, we decided to sell one of our parking lots to a developer who could meet the demand. After a highly selective process, in 2017 we selected a joint venture between BRP Companies/Wharton Properties to develop a 500,000 s/f project that will bring 300 mixed-income residential units and at least 70,000 s/f of retail space to the east end of Downtown Jamaica. While substantial development has occurred around AirTrain, this project will spread revitalization to the entire downtown.
What was your greatest professional accomplishment in 2017?
As part of a highly competitive, statewide competition–known as the Downtown Revitalization Initiative–GJDC helped create a winning application securing $10 million of state investments for Downtown Jamaica (the only winning district from NYC). In July 2017, lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul visited Jamaica to announce funding for several transformative initiatives – including the creation of a first-of-its-kind co-working space, a big boon for the local startup and office market. Additionally, investments will include increased broadband, upgraded pedestrian plazas and infrastructure, and a restaurant startup fund to activate the nighttime economy.