Slow going for market remodeling - The Packer

Slow going for market remodeling

02/24/2012 12:54:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

NEW YORK — The effort to move New York’s produce terminal market into the 21st century continues — but at a slow pace.
Talks to modernize the aging Hunts Point Terminal Market began in 2000 when the market was 33 years old. 
Matthew D’Arrigo, market co-chairman and vice president of D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of New York Inc., said the move to gain wholesalers a redevelopment deal involves a long process.
He said the professional firm working on behalf of the merchants remains in talks with city officials on a daily basis and personally meets with city officials weekly.
“We are working very hard to finalize what would be the design of the new market,” D’Arrigo said. “We are concurrently working on a financial plan that is affordable to the merchants.”
Though it’s a long process, D’Arrigo said the market is making progress. He said the wholesaler board of directors recently received a full briefing on the situation by the redevelopment specialists representing its interests.
“There is a lot of work with much to be done,” he said. 
“But steady, positive work is being done with the city on this. Hopefully, we will know what our future holds sometime in 2012.”
D’Arrigo said it is too early to make any comment on what that deal may resemble. 
He said operators are trying to gain the best deal possible for vendors. D’Arrigo said that includes not ruling out a possible move to another state.
One thing is certain, however: The 500,000-square-foot market needs new operations to adapt to modern food safety requirements.
“There are a lot of dynamics in the world of food safety. We don’t want to be in a 45-year-old facility and trying to compete with some of the things that are out there in the near future in terms of the Produce Traceability Initiative and the Food Safety Modernization Act.
“If the government is going to start playing an active role in how our industry and middlemen operate, you need to have a good facility. It’s long overdue and the right timing.”

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