FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2012
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND GOVERNOR CUOMO APPLAUD $10 MILLION FEDERAL GRANT TO SUPPORT HUNTS POINT PRODUCE MARKET
Collaborative Effort Between the Governor and Mayor Will Help Ensure New York Remains the Home of the Largest Food Hub in the Western Hemisphere
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today applauded a $10 million grant that was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation to the Hunt's Point Terminal Produce Market, supporting the Market's work to supply millions of New Yorkers every day with healthy, fresh produce. The grant will be used for critical improvements at the Hunt's Point warehouse, allowing produce from hundreds of farms and businesses across New York and the country to move more efficiently through the Market, while also opening the market to more local and upstate farmers and helping improve air quality for neighborhood residents.
"This grant will help ensure the market stays in the Bronx where it belongs," said Mayor Bloomberg. "For more than 40 years, the Produce Market has been an important piece of New York City's infrastructure, serving as its premiere intermodal produce transfer and distribution facility, and addressing the Market's growing transportation infrastructure needs and modernizing its rail facilities is of great importance to the City. I would like to thank Secretary LaHood for acknowledging the significance of this project in a very competitive field as well as Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Congressmen Crowley and Serrano and the rest of the New York State Congressional delegation for their tireless advocacy on behalf of this project. I would also like to especially thank Governor Cuomo, who identified early on that Hunts Point was a project with significant benefits for the entire State and region, as well as the Empire State Development Corporation and the New York State Department of Transportation. In addition, special recognition and thanks to New York City Council Speaker Quinn, Council Members Arroyo and Palma and the entire Bronx Delegation of the New York City Council, New York State Senator Diaz, New York State Assembly Members Arroyo and Crespo, Bronx Borough President Diaz, Jr. and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market Cooperative members and leadership, particularly Co-Presidents Stephen Katzman and Matthew D'Arrigo, the Point Community Development Corporation and Sustainable South Bronx."
"In the 2011 State of the State address, I pledged to increase downstate market access for upstate farmers and promote food distribution across New York State by investing in large distribution hubs that would expand food access in underserved communities while helping improve nutrition and lower costs," Governor Cuomo said. "The Hunts Point Terminal Market has been a leading distribution center for the New York metropolitan area, helping families get the food they need, while bolstering economic development, creating jobs, and supporting New York farmers. I commend Mayor Bloomberg, as well as the New York congressional delegation for coming together to get this done for the people of our state."
For more than 40 years, the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market has served as New York City's leading produce transfer and distribution facility and is now the second largest wholesale market in the world. Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market supplies 60% of fresh produce sales within New York City with an estimated $2.3 billion in revenue per year. The Market is the largest in-state market for New York farmers and during the growing season15% of the produce sold at Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market is grown in New York State. Over 3,500 workers are employed in the South Bronx, and another 3,000 in-direct jobs are supported by the Market.
New York State and City, as well as the owners of the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market have joined together in a public-private partnership to fund the $332.5 million redevelopment effort to modernize the warehousing and distribution activities within the Market. Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg signaled their commitment to keeping Hunts Point Terminal in the South Bronx, by including $50 million in state funding and $87.5 million in both capital funding and tax incentives from New York City.
Senator Charles Schumer said, "This grant will help keep the Hunts Point Market - and its jobs - where it belongs, in the Bronx, not in New Jersey. The redevelopment of the Market is one of the most important economic development projects in New York City, and this federal investment makes that abundantly clear. This vibrant hub is home to thousands of jobs, brings fresh and affordable food to our tables, and supports our farmers upstate. Hunts Point Market has been a New York institution for 45 years, and by modernizing, this grant will make sure that this vital food hub and engine of New York's economy will remain vibrant for decades to come."
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "This is great news. This critical investment will help make long overdue infrastructure upgrades at the country's largest food distribution center. Improving the rail system at Hunts Point Terminal Market will speed up efficiency, supply more fresh produce to communities and provide long-term economic benefits to the city. I will continue to work with my colleagues to push for needed investments to modernize this vital food hub."
U.S. Representative Timothy H. Bishop said, "As a representative of Suffolk County, the leading agricultural county in New York State, I strongly supported the State and New York City's application for federal funding for the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market under the TIGER grant program. This $10 million federal grant will leverage local, state, and private funds already in place to create jobs building a state-of-the-art distribution facility that will help New York farmers gain access to new markets nationwide."
U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke said, "I want to congratulate the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market on receiving a TIGER grant award. The market has provided jobs for many people in each of the boroughs of New York City, and consumers depend on the availability of fresh produce in their daily lives."
U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley said, "The Hunts Point Market has played an integral role in New York's economy for over 40 years and I'm so appreciative of the Department of Transportation's support for this vital local resource. In addition to providing millions of New Yorkers with affordable fresh produce, the Market also provides thousands of good-paying jobs and supports over 200 large farms throughout the state. This grant will allow the Market to make much-needed improvements to modernize the facility, as well as help to create hundreds of new jobs. This is exactly the kind of federal investment we need to help boost our economy and put people back to work. Further, it's my hope this investment will help pave the path forward in developing a long-term plan to keep the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx for good."
U.S. Representative Eliot L. Engel said, "The revitalization of Hunts Point is a key component to the economic development of the Bronx and New York City. The TIGER grant for Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market - the largest produce market in the country - will go a long way towards this goal, and I am pleased to see the DOT has approved the request from the New York State delegation, Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo. The improvements enabled by this grant will affect all of New York State and deliver fresh produce from New York State farms, and beyond, to New York state families. It will also help reduce health concerns for Bronx residents by substantially reducing the amount of diesel-powered trucks idling in the market. This is good news for the Bronx, New York City and the entire state."
U.S. Representative Chris Gibson said, "I was pleased to join with my colleagues from across New York State and the Governor's Office to support my Upstate farmers. This project is vital for ensuring they continue to expand their market access in New York State."
U.S. Representative Maurice D. Hinchey said, "I am very pleased that New York's Hunts Point Terminal will receive this much-needed federal funding. This redeveloped facility will serve as a hub for fresh fruit and vegetables from farms in the Hudson Valley and Catskill region to be distributed throughout the New York City area. It is a strategic investment that will pay dividends for everyone from farmers to distributors to consumers."
U.S. Representative Steve Israel said, "This grant will support redevelopment of the Hunt's Point Terminal Produce Market, a crucial source of food for millions of New Yorkers and a vital source of revenue for New York State. This project is a great example of the success of public-private partnerships and the economic impact they can have for the entire state."
U.S. Representative Bill Owens said, "This funding will help promote local farm business at Hunts Point, bolstering New York's agricultural economy. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this issue and I look forward to seeing continued work on this project."
U.S. Representative Charles B. Rangel said, "A big thanks to Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg and NY's congressional delegation for making the much-needed resources available to the City. These TIGER funds will open the market to New York State farmers, create jobs, reduce energy and pollutant emissions, and alleviate asthma symptoms, which is especially important in the South Bronx with asthma rates and childhood asthmas rates that are respectively, 17% and 33% above the national average. I stand very proud of our successful collaborative effort."
U.S. Representative Jose E. Serrano said, "The Department of Transportation is making a very wise investment in a valuable project in our community. This grant will create and retain many jobs, and help to get more trucks off the road and to keep them from sitting and idling for long periods of time. The Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market is a key economic driver in our City and State, and helping to ensure that they have the tools and infrastructure to compete and thrive is of utmost importance. When we led the full New York State congressional delegation in sending a letter to the DOT in support of this grant, we demonstrated that the Hunts Point Market is vital not just to our borough or city but to our whole state."
U.S. Representative Paul Tonko said, "While Hunts Point Market is physically located in the New York City region, its impact and benefits will be felt throughout the state - including in the Capital Region. Today's announcement will help promote a safe and secure food supply while assisting local New York farmers by providing them a market for their goods and encouraging others to buy local. I commend Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg for working with the entire New York delegation on this important project."
"The Council is very proud of our advocacy that led to the US Department of Transportation awarding $10 million from the TIGER discretionary grant program to improve the infrastructure at the Hunt's Point Terminal Produce Market," said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. "The Market is located in the nation's poorest Congressional district, and these funds will help streamline and improve the market's operations. I want to thank US Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congress Members Joseph Crowley and Jose Serrano, Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg, and the City Council's Bronx Delegation for their leadership on this and continued efforts to secure the funding and bring sorely needed jobs to the Bronx."
The rail improvements supported by this grant, together with the larger redevelopment of Hunts Point Terminal will reduce idling times and increase produce flow, opening the market to more local and upstate farmers, while helping improve public health and protect the environment. The grant announced today will result in a net reduction of almost 100 tons of nitrogen oxides, 25 tons of volatile compounds and over 59,000 tons of carbon dioxide. While the air quality improvements associated with the project will be felt regionally, it is especially important to the Hunts Point community, where there are an estimated 12,000 truck trips through the peninsula each day and is one of the localities with the highest asthma rates in the nation.
Loeser / Julie Wood (212) 788-2958
Josh Vlasto (Governor Cuomo) (518) 474-8418
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