Press Releases

Deputy Mayor Barrios-Paoli, NYCEDC, Speaker Mark-Viverito and New York State Announce Revitalization Of La Marqueta


Today, New York City Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) Executive Vice President Seth Myers, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and New York State announced the revitalization of La Marqueta, a commercial and cultural corridor in East Harlem. Spanning 111th to 119th Streets in East Harlem, La Marqueta houses a public retail market building and culinary incubator (Building 4), one production-kitchen building (Building 3), the Urban Garden Center (private tenant and community anchor), and other cultural uses and programming. The multi-million dollar revitalization project, coordinated between New York State and New York City, will renew this iconic and historic neighborhood landmark by expanding its current retail market offerings; introducing a seasonal youth farmer’s market, community open space, opportunities for youth development, and cultural programming; and investing in key infrastructure improvements.  

“La Marqueta has been a cornerstone of this East Harlem community for decades—and now, the Mayor’s Office, EDC, the City Council, and the State are all working together to help this jewel of El Barrio shine again,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Lilliam Barrios-Paoli. “This collaborative spirit represents the sort of neighborhood revitalization our administration is committed to. Today, we are one step closer toward reaching one of our overarching objectives in reactivating La Marqueta: ensuring it is one of the largest and greatest sources of healthy, affordable food options for East Harlem residents. Because when you have your health, all other things become possible.”

“The innovations underway at La Marqueta tap into its tremendous potential to once again become an economic engine and community institution for East Harlem,” said Kyle Kimball, President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “We thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her dedication to La Marqueta and are committed to continuing our productive partnership with the Council, the Governor, and the East Harlem community to ensure that La Marqueta supports local health and prosperity, and creates meaningful opportunity for the neighborhood.”

“It is my expectation that La Marqueta will rise as one of the leading, unique markets in the Big Apple and that people will flock to East Harlem because they know there is no other place to grab the best pasteles, buy fine wine from the Finger Lakes and enjoy rumbas,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York City Economic Corporation, our partners in government and advocates for their commitment to revitalizing La Marqueta.”

“El Barrio Youth Marqueta will provide young New Yorkers with access to high quality food, connect nutritious and fresh produce to underserved communities, and serve to stimulate the city’s agricultural economy,” New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said.  “Initiatives like El Barrio Youth Marqueta demonstrate that children are the future and we have to do everything we can to make them stronger and healthier. I would like to thank Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito for their leadership in helping to restore this landmark to the East Harlem neighborhood.”  

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Governor Cuomo’s commitment to bringing fresh New York State farm products to underserved communities is commendable, and El Barrio Youth Marqueta is just the latest example.  I’ve visited the site and see its enormous potential to transform the lives of youths in New York City and stimulate the state’s agricultural sector.  Well done to all involved!”

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the New York City Council worked in partnership with Governor Cuomo, the State Department of Agriculture, Empire State Development, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation to identify opportunities to reinvigorate La Marqueta as a cultural and commercial hub in East Harlem. In the FY 2015 budget, the New York City Council allocated $3 million to support the commercial and cultural expansion of La Marqueta, and $45,000 for WiFi service at the campus. Features of the revitalized corridor include:  

  • Creation of El Barrio Youth Marqueta, a seasonal farmer’s market funded from New York State and operated by the non-profit GrowNYC. El Barrio Youth Marqueta will provide nutritious, sustainable food options and workforce development opportunities for youth ages 16 to 24 in East Harlem, who are tasked with ordering products, identifying potential vendors, and performing cooking demonstrations. The Youth Marqueta runs on Thursdays from 1 PM to 7 PM and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM through November.    
  • Reopening of La Placita, newly available to the  public to serve as a social gathering place for the local community. Open during all market operating hours, La Placita is now furnished with chairs, tables, and public WiFi to encourage residents and visitors alike to utilize La Marqueta.    
  • The $3 million activation of La Marqueta Building 3, which NYCEDC has transformed into state-of-the-art commercial kitchen space to support growing food businesses, including Pipsnacks popcorn, and Luca & Bosco ice cream.    
  • Improvements to the façade and open space between 115th and 116th streets to make the complete La Marqueta campus more welcoming.    
  • Cultural events and programming curated through the coming months by local non-profit Acacia Network, highlighting the rich diversity of art, history, music, and food in El Barrio. Acacia will also curate currently vacant retail market stalls in Building 4.    
  • An overall strategic assessment, led by NYCEDC, to identify ways to maximize the La Marqueta properties and provide opportunities and support for local small businesses, artisans, and vendors.

Originally opened by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia as the Park Avenue Retail Market in 1936, La Marqueta, located underneath a portion of the elevated tracks of the Metro North railroad at 1590 Park Avenue, has been a cultural and commercial resource for the residents of East Harlem for nearly a hundred years.  For decades, it served as a location for residents across the city in search of food products and specialty items unavailable elsewhere in the City. After a period of decline, La Marqueta is undergoing a much-needed revitalization to once again become a vibrant part of the community. New Summer 2014 operating hours for the retail market and La Placita are:  

Monday-Wednesday: 8 AM to 5 PM
Thursday: 8 AM to 7 PM
Friday and Saturday: 8 AM to 6 PM
Sunday: 11 AM to 5 PM  

For more information about La Marqueta, please visit http://www.nycedc.com/project/la-marqueta.

About NYCEDC

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

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Contact Info

Kate Blumm/Ian Fried, NYCEDC

(212) 312-3523