New York City and the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market Cooperative have agreed to extend exclusive negotiations on a long-term lease for the market by 90 days.
City officials and wholesalers agreed on a three-year lease last June, a deal that called for further negotiations on a plan for a larger, modernized market.
The extension raises hopes for a market rebuild and a lasting lease in the Bronx, market cooperative co-president Stephen Katzman said Feb. 29.
“It is our hope that these additional 90 days of exclusive lease negotiations will allow us all ample time to hammer out the best financial deal that works for the city of New York and for the world’s premiere and largest produce market,” Katzman said in a news release.
Katzman is president of S. Katzman Produce. The cooperative’s other co-president, Matthew D’Arrigo, is vice president of D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of New York Inc.
New York City Economic Development Corp. president Seth Pinsky also welcomed the extension.
“(The) city and the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market Cooperative will be able to continue the tremendous progress we have made over the past several months in order to keep (the market) in the Bronx where it belongs,” Pinsky said in the release.
The market has annual revenue of more than $2 billion.
New Jersey officials courted the wholesalers starting in 2010, offering tax incentives if they would leave the Bronx for a new home across the Hudson River.
Last July, the wholesalers and produce distributors considered a Hunts Point property dubbed the Halleck Industrial Development Site, but said it was not ideal for their purposes. At the time, D’Arrigo said the market could decide on a move or rebuilding decision by fall 2012 or winter 2013.
The market has been in the Bronx since 1967. It sits on 113 acres and has 1 million square feet of interior space. The cooperative represents 47 vendors.