FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG UNVEILS PLANS FOR GATEWAY CENTER AT THE BRONX TERMINAL MARKET
$300 Million Investment By Related Will Create Million-Square-Foot Retail Center, Public Open Space and Waterfront Esplanade
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Jr., The Related Companies Chairman Stephen Ross and New York City Economic Development Corporation President Andrew M. Alper today announced plans for the Gateway Center at the Bronx Terminal Market. The Related Companies and the City reached an agreement for Related to lease the 26-acre property for the next 63 months while it finalizes long-term plans for the development. After agreeing to take over the property, Related reached an agreement with the City to continue to operate the Market for the next two years while the company's development plan for a retail center, waterfront esplanade and public open space goes through the City's public review process. After that process is completed, construction will take about two years, and the entire retail center is expected to open in 2008. Upon approval of the development plan the City agreed to grant Related a 49-year lease for the property, with options to extend to 99 years.
"The plans for the Gateway Center at the Bronx Terminal Market put an end to the 30-year reign that allowed this remarkable site to deteriorate and become a monumental eyesore and detriment to the whole borough," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The proposal from Related will not only remove this blight, it will also create about one million square feet of quality retail space, an inviting waterfront esplanade and park and generate thousands of jobs for area residents and enormous tax revenues for the City. This is another example of this Administration's commitment to resolving long-standing disputes that impede the City's ability to capitalize on our assets and improve our economy."
"I commend the Bloomberg Administration for its efforts on the redevelopment of the Bronx Terminal Market," said Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Jr. "As a result of our collective efforts, the Bronx and New York City will have 4,500 permanent and construction jobs. This is a milestone in the economic revitalization of the Bronx. I look forward to continuing a close working relationship with this Administration as we continue to revitalize the Bronx."
"The Related Companies is excited to be a part of the continuing revitalization of the Bronx," said Related Chairman Ross. "We are confident that when completed, Gateway Center at the Bronx Terminal Market will stand out as a critical catalyst for future economic development and job creation for all the people of the Bronx."
"This is indeed a reason to celebrate the new Bronx," said EDC President Alper. "We have not only ended a contentious tenant/landlord dispute that spanned 30 years, with more than a decade in litigation, we are moving forward with a development project that will bring new life and jobs, as well as waterfront access to Bronx residents. The current tenants of the Market will also benefit from this agreement. They will continue to occupy the Market for the next few years and the City and the Developer will work with them on a relocation plan. Meanwhile, necessary improvements and maintenance that has been sorely lacking will be done."
The Related Companies' proposed $300 million development plan calls for about one million square feet of retail space with a mix of big box, specialty and smaller shops in five newly-constructed multi-tier buildings, structured parking linking the retail buildings with space for about 3,000 cars, a one-acre public park with an esplanade along the Harlem River, and possibly a hotel. The project will create more than 2,400 construction jobs and about 2,100 permanent jobs. It will generate approximately $21 million in annual tax revenue for the City.
The Bronx Terminal Market was built in the 1920s and at one time was one of the largest Hispanic food wholesale operations in the country with more than 100 tenants and over 1,000 employees. It is located near Yankee Stadium between East 149th Street, River Avenue and the Harlem River. Today, the Market consists of nine buildings, seven of which are partially occupied, with less than 30 fruit and vegetable wholesalers remaining. One of the buildings, known a WH-1, is in hazardous condition and demolition will be commenced by Related over the next few months.
This project is just one example of how the Bloomberg Administration is working to make the Bronx more attractive to residents and businesses alike. Over the past year, the City has been working with the Hunts Point Task Force to develop a 20-year Vision Plan for Hunts Point. The Vision Plan is the result of a collaborative effort between multiple City agencies, community organizations, businesses, governmental agencies, and elected officials to define a coordinated vision for neighborhood revitalization. Preliminary recommendations have outlined a comprehensive series of improvements that cover everything from transportation, waterfront, workforce, and land use policy. The Task Force has concentrated on identifying short-term action items that will make a difference in the near-term, such as truck routing and way-finding, land use policy changes, streetscape improvements, points of waterfront access, and a pilot workforce development program. The Vision Plan will be completed later this spring.
Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Michael Sherman / Janel Patterson (EDC)
Frank Marino (for Related) (212) 889-0808