South Jamaica, Queens (History)

(Neighborhoods In Queens)

neighborhoods_queens_southjamaica_300x300South Jamaica is a working-class neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, located south of downtown Jamaica. Although a proper border has not been established, the neighborhood is an overall subset of the greater Jamaica area which faces the Long Island Rail Road tracks, Jamaica Avenue and Liberty Avenue to the north, the Van Wyck Expressway on the west, and continues east toward Merrick Boulevard in the neighboring community of St. Albans. Other primary thoroughfares of South Jamaica include Baisley, Foch, Linden, Guy R. Brewer and Sutphin Boulevards. South Jamaica is predominantly African-American with strong majority of Afro-Caribbean descent. In recent decades there has been an increase in the Hispanic community with members from Mexico, El Salvador, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. Guyanese and Bangladeshi] make up much of the larger portion of newcomers to the community. Bengali people can be found mostly around Sutphin and Merrick Boulevards along 145th, 153rd, 157th and 170th Streets and South Road, 105th, 107th and 109th Avenues. Also a small population of Haitians, Pakistanis and Trinidadians live in this area.

The area is largely a working-class community consisting of suburban one and two-family houses ranging from colonials built around the 1960s to new developments. A number of smaller apartment buildings along with some public housing projects are also located in the area.

The AirTrain JFK route transports people between Jamaica and JFK International Airport on its elevated route over the Van Wyck Expressway without stopping. A southern extension of the New York City Subway’s IND Archer Avenue Line to South Jamaica was planned by way of the LIRR Atlantic Branch but not completed.

The Baisley Park Houses and South Jamaica Houses housing projects are located in this community as well as the Rochdale Village Co-op development. Baisley Pond Park has over 100 acres (0.40 km2) of outdoor recreational space, including a 30 acres (0.12 km2) pond.