Step-Up Space


GJDC is proud to offer a space for entry-level restauranteurs in the Jamaica Market. Graduates of Queens-based incubator programs have an opportunity to hone their skills using a lean start-up model in the Jamaica Market, a heavily trafficked food hall and shopping hub in the heart of Downtown Jamaica.

Businesses accepted into the space will receive:

  • Access to low-cost shared kitchen space
  • A retail front in a busy food hall which sees an average of approximately 15,000 people each week.


Applicants must be residents of Southeast Queens and must be participants in one of the following programs:

  • Jamaica FEASTS
  • Queens Night Market
  • Restaurant-Specific QEDC Programs

About Downtown Jamaica, Queens

A resurgence is underway in Downtown Jamaica, Queens. In the last ten years, over $1 billion of public and private investments have been made in the area. Rezoned for higher density in 2007, new development projects are continually announced for Jamaica.

In the next two years alone, 5.9 million square feet of residential, hotel, and retail space are slated to come online including 4,800 new residential units and 2,200 hotel rooms. This new development leverages Jamaica's position as the hub of Southeast Queens: 49 bus lines, 4 subway stops, an LIRR station, and the AirTrain to JFK intersect in Jamaica; 86,000 people walk the Downtown every day and 30,600 university students attend area schools. 

About the Program

Downtown Jamaica, Queens was selected by Governor Andrew Cuomo as a winner of a competitive $10 million grant competition through the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). DRI is a strategic investment plan that identifies catalytic downtown projects consistent with the initiative’s goals. 

Increasing dining options in Downtown Jamaica is one of those projects and it focuses on improving the dining options and nightlife activity in the downtown area by establishing a Restaurant Startup Loan Program as well as an incubator space for new food businesses at the Jamaica Market, which GJDC owns and manages.



If you meet the minimum eligibility requirements, please fill out our pre-application form and a member of the team will review and contact you directly.




Email Us

Contact us for more information.


In Partnership

This program is made possible thanks to generous funding from