FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND EDC PRESIDENT ALPER WELCOME FULTON FISH MARKET TO HUNTS POINT
Historic Fish Market Brings 600 Jobs and $1 Billion Annually in Economic Activity to the Bronx
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Andrew M. Alper today welcomed the Fulton Fish Market to its new home in Hunts Point after spending more than 180 years in Lower Manhattan. The market's 38 wholesalers and 600 employees moved to the new $85 million facility at the Food Distribution Center in Hunts Point after reaching an agreement with the City and Laro Service Systems over unloading services last week. The state-of-the-art market brings about $1 billion annually in economic activity to the Bronx. Fulton Fish Market Cooperative President Frank Minio joined the Mayor and President Alper for a tour of the facility.
"This is a great day for the Bronx and the entire City as this important industry enters the 21st century in this spectacular new modern facility," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The move to the Bronx brings a billion-dollar industry and roughly 600 jobs to the Hunts Point peninsula, further establishing Hunts Point as the leading food distribution center in the country. The Bronx is destined to be an even more dynamic center of food-related industrial development in the years to come."
The Fulton Fish Market in Lower Manhattan opened in 1822 and has become the largest wholesale fish market in the United States, second only in the world to Tokyo's market. The new 430,000-square-foot facility, located at the southern end of the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, is completely enclosed and temperature controlled, featuring 19 bays and a large parking area. The 1,300-foot-long building, which sits on 30 acres of formerly vacant land, features a wide corridor down the center with vendors on both sides. It has eight separate entrances to provide convenient access from any part of the parking lot and a loading dock at either end of the building. Each wholesaler space has display room, a refrigerator and storage space. A 100,000-square-foot mezzanine provides space for offices, restrooms and lockers. There is also about 5,000 square feet of rental space that may be used for retail purposes, such as a restaurant or a bank.
With about 25% more selling space than the market in Lower Manhattan, the new facility will allow the fish wholesalers to expand and grow their businesses. The new location provides wholesalers the opportunity to extend their business hours, as the hours of operation at the South Street Seaport location were restricted because public streets were used for selling and moving products from stalls to customers' vehicles. In addition, it is expected that the convenient location at Hunts Point will provide easy access to a larger regional marketplace for seafood products. The new facility will adhere to regulations implemented by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for food safety.
As part of the agreement reached last week, the New Fulton Fish Market Cooperative at Hunts Point will use Laro to perform unloading services for three more years. Laro agreed to pay $300,000 in rent to the cooperative for use of the unloading areas and certain unloading equipment.
"The revitalization of the Bronx is an excellent example of Mayor Bloomberg's five-borough economic development strategy to make the City more livable, business friendly and to diversify the economy," said EDC President Alper. "We are seeing similar strategic planning efforts pay off with greater private investment and more job creation in communities across the City, from Long Island City, Queens, to Downtown Brooklyn and the Stapleton community on Staten Island."
The City and EDC are involved in a number of initiatives in the Bronx to improve the economy and quality of life on the Hunts Point peninsula. Mayor Bloomberg committed $27 million to promote economic development in Hunts Point, unveiling a comprehensive vision plan in March 2005 aimed at promoting a competitive business environment and sustainable community in Hunts Point. The Administration worked closely with community leaders to create the plan, which calls for developing new waterfront parks, improving traffic safety, upgrading street lighting, repaving streets and improving rail freight lines. The City's Department of City Planning is working on a rezoning plan for the area to encourage the expansion of food-related businesses, and the City is launching a comprehensive study to evaluate the opportunities for a potential redevelopment of the Hunts Point Produce Market.
Edward Skyler/Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Michael Sherman/Andrew Brent (EDC)
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