Residents of the Douglaston neighborhood in Queens are in need of some retail.
The neighborhood is close to a Long Island Rail Road train station that serves thousands of commuters daily, but currently, only a few stores are open for business on the north side of the station. Other storefronts are vacant.
Not-for-profit group Douglaston Local Development Corporation is working on a proposal, after years of talking to civic groups and residents of the area, to bring more retail in. Plans for a new station plaza were approved by Community Board 11 in June.
Construction to extend parts of the sidewalk and add about 3,000 square feet of public space will begin this month to create the plaza, which will have tables, chairs, umbrellas and plants, a Department of Transportation spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.
The plan is spurring local entrepreneurs to think about a reuse of the Douglaston station building or potentially creating a mural inside the underground passage way between the north and south sides of the station. Talks for opening a coffee kiosk at the station are also in the works. [WSJ] — Claire Moses