U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Congress members Joe Crowley and Jose Serrano today announced $10 million in vital federal funding to modernize the transportation infrastructure and warehouse facilities at Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market. The funding was secured after intense lobbying from Schumer, Gillibrand, Crowley, and Serrano from the federal Department of Transportation's TIGER grant program, to help redevelop this critical center of New York commerce. Hunts Point is the second largest food hub in the world, serving over 22 million people per year, supporting almost 200 large farms throughout New York State, employing more than 3,600 workers in good paying jobs, and generating $3 billion in sales. Modernizing the facility is vital to securing a reliable source of fresh produce for the country's largest city and ensuring that New York farmers have continued access to a multi-billion dollar in-state market. This TIGER grant will modernize the market's transportation infrastructure and warehouse facilities for greater operating efficiency, food safety, and environmental sustainability.
"This grant will help keep the Hunts Point Market - and its jobs - where it belongs, in the Bronx, not in New Jersey," said Schumer. "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 Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, 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."
"The Hunts Point Market has played an integral role in New York's economy for over 40 years and this grant will ensure it continues to do so," said Rep. Joe Crowley (NY-7), who, along with Reps. José Serrano (NY-16) and Paul Tonko (NY-21) recently spearheaded a letter signed by New York's entire Congressional Delegation supporting the Hunts Point Market's application for the this critical transportation infrastructure grant. "Not only does the Hunts Point Market provide millions of New Yorkers with affordable fresh produce, it also provides for thousands of good-paying jobs and supports New York farmers. 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 investment the federal government should make to boost our economy and put people back to work and I'm glad the Department of Transportation sees what we see in the Market."
"I'm particularly please that the Department of Transportation has seen the merits of supporting this vitally important renovation of a key economic driver in our City," said Congressman José E. Serrano. "Our neighborhoods will benefit from this renovation as fewer trucks are idling on their streets and the Hunts Point Market continues to lead the regional produce trade. The renovated market will support jobs and an improved urban environment. 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 of utmost importance not just to our borough or city but to our whole state."
"We're absolutely thrilled to hear that the market has been selected for a $10M TIGER grant." Said Hunts Point Co-Op Co-Chairs Matt D'Arrigo and Steve Katzman. "This is a critical piece of funding that will eventually lead to a new market and keep family businesses in the Bronx where they've been for many years."
For 45 years, the Hunts Point Market, located in the South Bronx, has served as New York City's premiere intermodal produce transfer and distribution facility. The over 115 food wholesaling and processing firms at the Produce Market, which employs more than 3,600 workers in good paying jobs, generate more than $3 billion in sales annually and serve 6,000 small food retailers in the city. More than 50% of the market stocks regionally-grown produce from farmers across New York. In addition to the 22 million people served by the Terminal, 60% of New York City's fresh fruits and vegetables come from the Market, with produce coming from as far west as California and as far south as Florida.
The $332.5 million Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market redevelopment project is vital to securing a reliable local food source for the country's largest city and ensuring that New York farmers have continued access to a multi-billion dollar in-state market. This long-overdue public-private redevelopment project is supported by the combined $137.5 million investment of the State and City, with a private investment of $160 million from the Produce Market Cooperative. The additional $10 million from the federal government helps bring the funding package whole.
In March, Schumer, Gillibrand, Crowley and Serrano called on USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood to approve the Hunts Point TIGER application. The grant is a "last mile" investment to a piece of the larger project to modernize the market's transportation infrastructure and warehouse facilities for greater operating efficiency, food safety, and environmental sustainability. Cumulatively, these improvements will enhance the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market's impact in increasing economic activity at a local, regional, and national level.