FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG JOINS THE HOME DEPOT AND RELATED COMPANIES TO OPEN FIRST STORE IN $500 MILLION GATEWAY CENTER AT BRONX TERMINAL MARKET AND WELCOME FIRST 200 EMPLOYEES
The Home Depot and Its 200 Permanent Jobs - 75 Percent of Which Are Held By Bronx Residents – Are Part of Larger 2,100-Job Retail Complex Set to Open in Full This Fall
Spurring Job-Intensive Private Investments is Part of New York City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Related Companies President Jeff Blau and The Home Depot District Manager Mark Sherman today opened The Home Depot at the Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market, the first store of the $500 million retail complex. The store adds 200 new, permanent jobs – 75 percent of which are Bronx residents – and by this fall, the LEED-certified Gateway Center will have created 2,100 permanent retail jobs and 2,900 construction jobs in the South Bronx. Nearly 40 percent of all contracts have been won by Bronx-based companies and more than 10 percent have been won by Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises. The project will generate more than $20 million in annual tax revenue for the City. Spurring job-intensive private investments in neighborhoods across New York City is part of the City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for long-term economic growth, and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods. Mayor Bloomberg was joined at the announcement, which took place at the new store on Exterior Street between East 150th Street and Cromwell Avenue, by newly-elected Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., City Council Member Joel Rivera, and State Assembly Members Carmen Arroyo, Michael Benjamin, Nelson Castro and Aurelia Greene.
“Today marks another great milestone in the ongoing renaissance of the South Bronx,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Following the opening of the new Yankee Stadium, this new complex is the latest in a series of developments that are creating real jobs for local residents. In addition to providing much needed quality retail options and job opportunities, Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market will soon feature an inviting waterfront esplanade and park to be enjoyed by area residents. I also commend The Home Depot for its commitment to improving communities through its store-based Team Depot volunteer program that encourages associates to participate in community service projects in the neighborhood.”
Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market is the largest retail development in New York City in decades. The one million square-foot Gateway Center is nearly 90 percent leased and willinclude a mix of large-scale retail, restaurants and smaller shops, including BJ’s, Best Buy, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Marshall’s, Raymour & Flanagan, Staples, Toys R Us and Babies R Us. The multi-level regional shopping center will feature an innovative concept that creates dedicated parking fields for each level. It will also feature inviting public open space and a waterfront esplanade along the Harlem River set to open this fall. The Home Depot at the Gateway Center is one of five Home Depot stores that will open in the United States this year. The 115,000-square-foot store features an urbanized garden department with tropical live goods as well as other home products. The store will provide free clinics and product demonstrations for customers.
“In our current economic climate, making the Bronx an engine of job creation for Bronx residents should be our top priority,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market will make the Bronx a more attractive environment for businesses that will have a positive impact on the borough. Today’s opening of Home Depot heralds this important transformation for Bronxites. In addition, the availability of affordable 'Energy Star' appliances and Home Depot's 'Eco Options' program will go a long way towards promoting the vital goal of a greener more environmentally friendly Bronx for our children and families. I look forward to continuing to partner with Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council on important projects for all Bronx residents such as this one in the future.”
“Related Companies is proud to be playing a vital role in the rebirth of the Bronx in partnership with the City and the community,” Related Companies President Jeff Blau. “Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market will not only offer residents convenient new shopping opportunities, but it will also create new economic opportunities, including thousands of jobs. Today’s opening of Home Depot is just the beginning, and come fall, I look forward to returning to the Bronx and enjoying all the vibrant new restaurants and shops that Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market will have to offer.”
“We’re proud to be opening our third Bronx store in the new Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market,” said Aaron Flowe, regional vice president, NY Metro Region of The Home Depot. “We look forward to serving the home improvement needs of our customers and giving back to this great community.”
“Gateway Center represents a significant step forward in the development of the South Bronx,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “In addition to the new Yankee Stadium, projects outlined in the City’s South Bronx Initiative are underway that will enhance the viability of the project through the development of affordable housing, office space, new recreational facilities and job opportunities for the more than 300,000 residents that live in the area.”
NYC Business Solutions, a suite of services offered by the Department of Small Business Services, assisted in hiring a third of today’s new employees at Home Depot. NYC Business Solutions and will continue to support The Home Depot as well as other companies in the Bronx terminal market with future hiring needs. Thus far in 2009, Small Business Services has helped employers hire more than 5,000 people in the retail, healthcare, technology, transportation, food services and other sectors.
“We help businesses staff their new locations and hire employees from a pool of screened job candidates,” said Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh. “There are employment opportunities and our role is to help match New Yorkers with these jobs.”
Built in 1920, the Bronx Terminal Market at one time was one of the largest Hispanic food wholesale operations in the country with more than 100 tenants and 1,000 employees. Over the years, it declined until its nine remaining deteriorating buildings were occupied by fewer than 30 wholesalers. The disinvestment contributed to high crime rates in the neighborhood. In 2004, Related entered into an agreement with the City of New York and New York City Economic Development Corporation to redevelop the property with a mix of newly-constructed buildings, a 2,600 spot parking garage located within one of the original structures and a nine-acre public park along the Harlem River. Construction started in 2006. The City worked successfully with many of the wholesalers to help them relocate in the neighborhood, in Hunts Point and elsewhere in New York City. As part of the Gateway Center project, Related is restoring the Prow Building at the corner of East 149th Street and River Avenue in an effort to preserve the history of the old Terminal Market.
The South Bronx has long been underserved by retail stores, and many of the borough’s 1.4 million residents travel by car or bus to Yonkers, Westchester or New Jersey to find national retailers. Much of that spending can now be done in New York City at the Gateway Center. The project is the latest in a series of programs to create jobs and spur development in the South Bronx. As part of the South Bronx Initiative, the City is currently undertaking a comprehensive rezoning of the Lower Concourse to create a new, mixed-use district with 3,400 units of housing, with 540 affordable, generate 3,400 jobs and provide new waterfront open space to an underserved community. The proposal began formal public review in February 2009 and received approval from the local Community Board and the Bronx Borough President in the past few months. It will now go to the City Planning Commission and City Council for approval.
The Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city's economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth. To learn more about the plan, visit nyc.gov. Recently, Mayor Bloomberg has announced:
Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
David Lombino (EDC) (212) 312-3523
Jennifer King (The Home Depot) (770) 384-4390
Joanna Rose (Related) (212) 801-3902
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