BY JORDAN GIBBONS
Carlisle Towery, the president of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, has been the organization’s guiding force since its formation in 1967. On Monday, Towery announced he would be stepping down and retiring in 2015.
With Towery at the helm, Greater Jamaica helped to facilitate the removal of the Jamaica Avenue elevated train, relocate the York College campus, build new headquarters for the Social Security Administration and the Food and Drug Administration, plan and develop the AirTrain service to JFK International Airport and a variety of other projects that are in the works or were completed recently in Downtown Jamaica.
The Norman Towers, a 101-unit mixed-income housing development with office and retail space, had its ribbon-cutting ceremony a couple of weeks ago, while a 26-story hotel opposite the AirTrain terminal, a 580-unit residential development, a 150,000-square-foot retail development with a 550-car garage are in the development stages.
“I am very comfortable with the way Jamaica is and can be, as well as the new administration. It couldn’t be a better time,” Towery said. “The future does motivate me to replace myself with somebody who can take it to the next level. There are people better equipped than me and the table is set.”
Towery said it is exciting working with the current City governmental agencies and has high hopes for the ongoing Jamaica Initiative that is having its next meeting on Nov. 22 to identify the issues in Jamaica that need to be converted into action plans towards further Jamaica development.
The Chairman of the GJDC board Peter Kulka credited Towery’s vision for the progress Jamaica has seen over the years and the promising possibilities for the future of the community.
“The result is a far more vibrant and forward-looking Jamaica, one where investors see the neighborhood as a hotbed of economic opportunity that will benefit all of us who live, work and visit here,” Kulka said. “He is leaving big shoes to fill.”
The GJDC board has formed a search committee to select Towery’s successor and hired Machlowitz Consultants, a Manhattan-based executive recruiting firm, to coordinate the search.
Towery said that he will stay on as president until his replacement is selected. He also said that he will be around after he steps down to work on specific projects rather than focusing on policy and operations.
Towery said he is proud to be actively involved in the revival of Downtown Jamaica, which struggled with private investment for nearly two decades.
Reach Jordan Gibbons at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123, firstname.lastname@example.org or @jgibbons2.