BY TRONE DOWD
Jamaica Estates is a community that stands out considerably in Southeast Queens. The attractive neighborhood is one made up of beautiful one family homes, upscale apart ment builings and mostly white collared residents making well above the average income of most New Yorkers.
The town of Jamaica Estates was found in 1908. From the beginning, it was developed as a place for the affluent in the area, with large gorgeous and spacious homes and well-maintained shrubbery. As attractive as it was, it didn’t take long for the neighborhood to become what it was built to be. The community that formed at Jamaica Estates were a very proud and protective one, proactive on keeping their neighborhood safe and taken care of. Organizations like the Jamaica Estates Association and the Committee for the Preservation of Jamaica Estates, found in 1929 and 2004 respectively, have worked to keep the quality of life residents of the neighborhood have now grown used to. Residents are fairly mixed, made up of white, black, hispanic and asian residents.
The town of Jamaica Estates is also home to the prestigious St. John’s University. Opened in 1956, the neighborhood plays as a town for college students who live on campus. St. John’s has a total of six residential buildings for students who choose to dorm, which feature “ultramodern residence facilities” that are “cable-ready with Wi-Fi Internet access and plenty of space, our residence halls offer you the total college experience” according to the school’s website.
In the last two decades, St. John’s has grown in popularity, going from an average of 7,500 applicants during the new school year in 1998 to 20,500 new applicants in 2005. In 2003, a shopping center opened not too far from the campus, providing students and residents of the neighborhood an alternative to the often times crowded Jamaica Avenue.
Jamaica Estates is also home to a number of other educational buildings, including the United Nations International School, Mary Louise Academy and the Immaculate Conception School.
In addition to the two Catholic schools, Jamaica Estates is home to a large Jewish population. In fact, the neighborhood was the home to the Conservative Synagogue of Jamaica Estates before merging with the Israel Center of Conservative Judaism in 2004. Also, young orthodox Jewish group, Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, is also based out of the neighborhood.