Negotiations are still ongoing between the city and the Hunts Point Produce Market – known for its worldwide imports – about plans to upgrade or build new facilities for the location, according to Joel Fierman, co-president of the Hunts Point Produce Market Cooperative Association.
“Yes, we are negotiating. The city’s been wonderful. They’ve been very cooperative, but we don’t have a definitive lease in place (and) we don’t know what our future really holds as far as the redevelopment of the market,” he said. “There really are no sticking points, it’s just a matter of getting to the terms on what everybody thinks the market is worth, what the redevelopment would be for the market to remain.”
Marlene Cintron, president of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp., said that after five years of discussions, she expected a new, separately planned farmers market hub in the Hunts Point area that would be focused on produce originating from New York to be completed sooner.
“I know that there was a real honest-to-goodness, good faith allocation of funds by the state and the city and it has not resulted in very much, but (the farmers market) has the buy-in of everyone that it needs to and so the chances are that this will be built way before the other stuff gets resolved,” she said. “This gives us an opportunity to bring in products that haven’t come in by plane and boat and train, but rather from New York state trees and bushes.”
Fierman said it was still too early in the negotiating process to identify sticking points. “The state has been making great inroads into the Bronx and upgrading infrastructure of the railroad. I think everybody’s on the same page," he said.
Cintron said the aging Produce Market facilities cause higher energy consumption and costs. “The Produce Market, the Meat Market and the Fish Market is the breadbasket of the whole Eastern Seaboard and this is not just a Bronx thing, it’s really a whole East Coast thing,” she said. “We need for that to get done, and the sooner the better.”
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