Rochdale sits on the Belt Pkwy, a two-minute drive from John F. Kennedy International Airport. It’s a large neighborhood in southeastern Queens that borders South Jamaica to the west, Locust Manor to the north, and Springfield Gardens to the south. It is part of Greater Jamaica.
Rochdale is named after the town of Rochdale in Greater Manchester, England. It was envisioned as an English town-like neighborhood with a park-like vibe and feel that would be an attractive residence for middle-class suburbia, as well as a self-contained “city within a city.” The neighborhood was actually built on the former Jamaica Racetrack, once the most famous in Queens before Aqueduct Track became the main draw. Since the site was already very well-known, development began quickly and in earnest. “Rochdale Village” opened as one of the largest private cooperative housing complexes in the United States.
Also called “The Jewel of Jamaica”, Rochdale Village is a part of Rochdale that is essentially a large residential park visually similar to “Co-Op City” in the Bronx. Rochdale Village has manicured lawns and walking paths, its own branch of the Queens Public Library, and is policed by unarmed peacekeepers. There are two public elementary schools in Rochdale as well as a junior high school and a high school.
Today, Rochdale has a sizeable African American/Afro-Caribbean community, which is reflected in popular restaurants like The Door (Caribbean), Smoke BBQ Pit, RCL Enterprises (southern soul food), and Poor Freddie’s Rib Shack. The community is served by the QM21 to Manhattan, as well as the Q3, Q85, Q111, and Q113 local buses. The Long Island Rail Road stops near Rochdale at Locust Manor. Drivers can easily access the Belt Pkwy, I-678, and Laurelton Pkwy. Frequent fliers will appreciate the closeness to John F Kennedy International Airport, which can be reached within minutes.
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