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December 22, 2008

 

DiNapoli Calls for Partnership to Rebuild Hunts Point Market

Nadler, Crowley, Carrion Join Comptroller

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli held a press conference today at the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center (the Center) to release his report on the economic importance of the Center. The Center, located in the South Bronx, includes the Terminal Market (produce), the Hunts Point Cooperative Market (meat), and the Fulton Fish Market. DiNapoli was joined by federal and local representatives, including Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion.

“While the federal government is bailing out, it should also be building up,” DiNapoli said. “Hunts Point is the largest food distribution center in the world, but the produce market needs to be rebuilt. Thousands of jobs and billions of dollars are at risk. The proposed new facility will create new jobs, reduce truck emissions and keep an important industry in New York.

“New York needs help to get this facility built. It’s a bold project that is right in line with President-elect Obama’s bold vision. It should be at the top of the list of federal economic revitalization projects. It’s an investment in the community, in the Bronx and in New York. These are solid middle-class jobs that pay well and provide health benefits, and most are held by Bronx residents. Let’s not just bail out. Let’s build up.”

“It is imperative to keep and expand the Hunts Point Cooperative Market in the Bronx,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “If it were to move to New Jersey, not only would New York lose a tremendous amount of high paying blue-collar jobs, but our region would also see an enormous increase in truck traffic, air pollution, carbon emissions and energy use. This is exactly the wrong message we want to send when the federal government is attempting to reduce global warming. I commend Comptroller DiNapoli for his report quantifying the importance of the Hunts Point Market to our regional economy; and I join him in urging that economic stimulus funds be used to rebuild and expand the Hunts Point Cooperative Market.”

“Hunts Point Market is a cornerstone of our Bronx community, and we need to partner at all levels of government to make its revitalization a reality,” said Congressman Joseph Crowley. “With thousands of good-paying jobs on the line for Bronx residents, rebuilding Hunts Point Market is a priority for us all. I look forward to working with my good friends Comptroller DiNapoli, Congressmen Serrano and Nadler and the whole Congressional delegation to make it happen.”

“We must rebuild the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market,” said Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion. “The market feeds our city, employs our residents and generates billions in revenue each year. Government should work collaboratively to make a long overdue and much needed investment in this major economic generator. During these tough financial times we simply cannot afford to lose jobs and revenue.”

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said, “New York can’t afford to lose Hunt’s Point. This market is a major distribution point for New York growers and the primary source for fresh fruits and vegetables for much of New York City. It also provides many jobs and much revenue for the State of New York that we need to maintain during this tough financial time. In order to retain these important services, I agree with Comptroller DiNapoli that Hunts Point needs to be rebuilt and kept right here in New York State.”

DiNapoli’s report noted that a consultant’s study found that the produce market is quickly out-growing its ability to serve the region. If the new facility is not built, the produce distribution facilities could relocate to an out-of-state facility.

DiNapoli’s report details the economic importance of the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center. The report found that:

  • The Hunts Point Food Distribution Center (the Center), which includes the New York City Terminal Market (produce), the Hunts Point Cooperative Market (meat) and the Fulton Fish Market generates more than $5 billion in revenues each year;
  • The produce market at Hunts Point accounts for 8,500 on-site and related jobs and $2 billion in sales;
  • More than 5,500 buyers visit the produce market on a weekly basis. Each year, 200,000 trucks, 3,200 rail cars, and 1.4 million vehicles access the facility;
  • The new facility would be energy-efficient, reduce truck emissions, protect against power disruptions, and help protect the food supply from terrorist attack;
  • Jobs in the wholesale grocery business in the Bronx pay an average salary of $56,130, nearly 40 percent higher than the average for other industries in the Bronx; and
  • Total wages for wholesale grocery workers in the Bronx were $285 million in 2006.

Dean Norton, president of New York Farm Bureau, said, “Hunts Point is a critical priority for New York agriculture. A tremendous amount of New York grown fruits and vegetables are sold through this market, and New York Farm Bureau commends Comptroller DiNapoli and leaders of the Congressional delegation for their recognition of the Market’s importance to New York agriculture and New York consumers.”

Gary La Barbera, president of the New York City Central Labor Council, said, “A shaky economy needs a solid foundation, and the Hunts Point Cooperative Development Plan is about revitalizing not just the Hunts Point community, but our jobs, small businesses and confidence. The New York City labor movement is proud to stand with Comptroller Di Napoli as we work together to get people back to work and build economic activity in the Bronx.”

Click here for a copy of the report or visit the Web site at www.osc.state.ny.us

Click here for a Spanish-language version of the report.

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