BRONX, NY—Mayor Bill de Blasio toured the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market this morning to meet with business owners and union leadership and preview progress on the City’s $150 million investment into the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, one of the largest food distribution hubs in the world.
The de Blasio’s administration’s investment will support the 8,500 jobs already at the hub, and create another 500 permanent and 900 unionized construction jobs. The City is expanding rail capacity, remediating underutilized properties for new buildings to house food-related businesses, expanding and modernizing existing buildings, and fortifying the center’s systems against flooding and disruption.
“We’re expanding and strengthening the hub at Hunts Point to bring even more jobs to the Bronx. This is a crucial link in the city’s economy and for our food security. This investment in more modern buildings, transportation and resiliency will protect it for decades to come,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
A majority of the City’s food supply comes from the Center, including 25% of produce, 35% of meat and 45% of fish. The Center is home to the world-renowned Hunts Point Terminal Produce, Cooperative Meat, and New Fulton Fish Markets, which generate approximately $3 billion in sales annually.
“With over 155 public and private businesses and 8,500 workers, the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center is a major economic engine in the South Bronx. Every day the Center feeds nearly 21 million people across the five boroughs and the larger northeastern region, making it the most critical link in our City's food supply chain,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James Patchett. “The City's investment will support quality, middle-class jobs, modernize infrastructure, and transform the Center into a world-class food distribution hub.”
“We at DOT are proud of our work in Hunts Point, the perfect neighborhood to kick off Bronx Week,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Under Mayor de Blasio, the neighborhood has been a Vision Zero priority as we have brought dramatic street redesigns to streets like Bruckner Boulevard and new greenways to our growing bicycle network. Meanwhile, our award-winning Hunts Point Clean Trucks Program has tackled the many problems created by the old diesel trucks that served the market every day. Working with us over the last few years, trucking companies upgraded hundreds of vehicles, which are now releasing fewer dangerous emissions into local communities and are fitted with safer equipment that help us meet Vision Zero goals.”
“The City's investment in the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center is creating jobs in the Bronx and keeping our food supply safe,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “More than half of our city's food supply comes through this hub, and it's a vital pipeline for grocers and restaurants across the five boroughs.”
“The Hunts Point Terminal Market is responsible for feeding our entire region, and is one of the most significant economic engines not just in The Bronx but in the entire City. Mayor de Blasio's commitment of considerable financial resources to the market’fds ongoing success is greatly appreciated, especially as we plan for the long-term vitality and continued positive growth of this important commercial hub,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“It's going to be an exciting week in the Bronx as Mayor de Blasio will be in town for his office's second installment of City Hall in Your Borough. I can’t think of a better way for the mayor to kick off his Bronx tour than a visit to one of the city's top economic engines, the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center. This widely acclaimed facility distributes high quality food to not just the five boroughs, but our whole region, and I applaud Mayor de Blasio and the city for their recent $150 million investment in the cooperative market,” said Senator Jeff Klein.
“The Hunts Point Produce Market not only feeds New York City, but is of tremendous importance to our local economy,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca. “I’m pleased the Mayor is taking the time to visit the market and discuss with the co-op the investments needed to keep it moving forward.”
“I commend Mayor de Blasio's commitment to middle-class New Yorkers. Working families will only be able to afford to live in New York as long as good-paying jobs are available to them. Hunts Point Market is creating exactly the kind of union jobs that New Yorkers need today. As blue-collar jobs become harder to find, City Hall’s investments in the food center are more important than ever,” said George Miranda, President, Teamsters Joint Council 16.
The $150 million investment furthers the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Hunts Point Vision Plan, a four-prong strategy to optimize land use, improve traffic safety, develop workforce solutions and enhance connectivity in and around the Hunts Point Peninsula. Included in the Vision Plan is the South Bronx Greenway program, an initiative that seeks to facilitate waterfront access, provide recreational opportunities, improve transportation safety, and enhance the network of bike and pedestrian paths on the Hunts Point Peninsula while boosting economic development opportunities.
Completed South Bronx Greenway projects include:
The Hunts Point Clean Truck Program, administered by DOT, has dramatically reduced dangerous emissions and particulates through an innovative rebate program. Over the last three years, over 500 high-pollution diesel trucks – that were either based in Hunts Point or that served the markets there – have been replaced or retrofitted. The federally-funded program has awarded over $15 million dollars to 85 different trucking and delivery companies, financing the replacement of conventional vehicles with newer vehicles that operate on alternative fuels, including compressed natural gas, hybrid, or battery electric.
The Hunts Point Clean Truck Program also required Vision Zero adjustments to new and retrofitted vehicles, including the addition of mirrors and side-guards.
Building upon these investments in the Hunts Point Peninsula, the City has also prioritized neighborhood development in the surrounding residential area. In October 2016, the New York City Economic Development Corporation announced that it will transform the former Spofford juvenile detention center into a five-acre, mixed-use development that will be anchored by several South Bronx-based businesses and will create a development with approximately 740 affordable apartments, much-needed community facilities, and 52,000 square feet of open space.
In 2014, Mayor de Blasio reallocated $25 million in HUD community block grant funding to support ongoing resiliency measures in Hunts Point, including the Rebuild by Design program, a $20 million HUD funded project to evaluate integrated coastal protection, energy, and storm water resiliency, and an emergency maritime supply chain. Additionally, the Hunts Point community was one of several New York City neighborhoods selected to implement and beta test resiliency technology under NYCEDC’s RISE-NYC initiative.