Hester Street (HST) conducted a planning study within the brownfield areas of Northwest Flushing to boost economic opportunity for immigrant entrepreneurs and small business owners in Queens’ fastest-growing neighborhood. With support from the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation (MOER), we worked with Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) to develop a financial analysis of a small business incubator within an AAFE-owned development site and considered assets and opportunities for equitable economic development in the area north of Northern Boulevard zoned largely for manufacturing use.

The goals of the project were two-fold:

One aimed to preserve and promote affordability for Flushing’s industrial and manufacturing sector, considering its benefits for both the area’s commercial livelihood, and the immigrant communities that live and work there. HST conducted an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the area; researched the needs and service gaps of existing businesses; and outlined opportunities and tradeoffs for existing zoning tools to promote and incentivize responsible industrial growth.

The second aimed to maximize space and resources available for the development of a small business incubator within AAFE’s 84,00 square foot Center for Community + Entrepreneurship. Centrally located in Downtown Flushing, the incubator provides affordable work space for fledging businesses to grow and develop. As a surge of high-density developments continue to rise in the neighborhood and its commercial area continues to have extremely limited vacancy rates, the incubator will support local businesses who have difficulty entering and remaining in the Downtown Flushing area.

For the full study and to download our report, please click here.