Mayor Bloomberg Announces Selection of Baldor and Anheuser- Busch to Expand in Hunts Point
Projects to Retain and Create Over 1,730 Jobs.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the selection of Baldor Specialty Foods and Anheuser-Busch of New York to expand their businesses on two City-owned sites on the Hunts Point Peninsula in the South Bronx. These selections allow both companies to remain in New York City and expand their rapidly growing businesses in Hunts Point, the City’s leading center of wholesale food distribution. Combined, these projects are expected to create more than 900 new permanent and construction jobs over the next three years, and retain about 830 jobs. In addition, the projects will generate more than $50 million in private investment in the South Bronx and more than $40 million in economic activity over the next 20 years. Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, City Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development & Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff, Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President Andrew M. Alper, Baldor Specialty Foods CEO Kevin Murphy, Anheuser-Busch Inc. President August A. Busch IV and Hunts Point Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Josephine Infante attended the announcement at 155 Food Center Drive, where Baldor is expanding.
“Baldor and Anheuser-Busch are making an enormous contribution to the Hunts Point Peninsula and to the economic revitalization that is rapidly transforming the South Bronx,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “With today’s announcement, we are moving forward with the goals I outlined earlier this year as part of the Hunts Point Vision Plan, which aims to attract and grow businesses, create more jobs and make the community a better place to live. By expanding Hunts Point’s food-related uses and developing the waterfront greenway throughout the peninsula, these businesses are a vital part of the effort to make the Hunts Point Peninsula, which already employs more than 10,000 people and is home to one of the most important food distribution centers in the world, an even stronger engine of the City’s economic growth.”
“The expansion of Baldor Specialty Foods and Anheuser-Busch in the Hunts Point Peninsula is another example of the optimism people have in the Bronx and the unprecedented economic development that has been taking place in our borough in recent years,” said Bronx Borough President Carrion. “When we invest wisely in our communities we create opportunities for residents to benefit from a strong economy. This is how we are building a better Bronx – by building and investing from within the community.”
“I am pleased with the overall plan for the development in the Hunts Point Market,” said Councilwoman Arroyo. “It will provide expansion of several businesses which have been in our community for decades.”
Baldor Specialty Foods had outgrown its current facility in Hunts Point, and was selected to occupy 155 Food Center Drive, which includes an 185,000-square-foot refrigerated warehouse and distribution facility. The new site offers Baldor the opportunity to expand into larger facilities to accommodate its rapid growth, which exceeded 20% a year for the past five years. Baldor has made a commitment to keep its 510 workers and expects to add 450 new jobs over the next three years, and will expand its commitment to hire new employees from the community. The new facility is expected to be ready for operation by summer 2006. NYCEDC issued the lease offering for the 12.8-acre site in September 2005. The site is bounded by Food Center Drive to the north and east, the Hunts Point Co-operative Meat Market to the south, and the Consolidated Edison substation to the west.
“We at Baldor would like to say how pleased we are to be awarded the building at 155 Food Center Drive,” said Baldor CEO Kevin Murphy. “We recognize that several worthy businesses vied for the opportunity to take advantage of this premier site. Baldor is pleased that the city recognizes our hard work and vision and agrees that keeping Baldor in the Bronx will best serve the community for years to come. This permits us to continue to create good paying jobs for all local residents and to continue serving the finest foodservice operations in New York City and its surrounding boroughs. Baldor is investing millions of dollars to keep our company thriving in the Bronx and to make this site a state-of-the-art headquarters for our food service distribution needs.”
Anheuser-Busch, the St. Louis-based beverage giant, was selected to develop a 167,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility. The development will allow the company to relocate from its current location within the Queens West development area in Long Island City, and modernize and expand its operations. The company agreed to retain its 322 existing jobs, and create about 100 new permanent jobs and 389 construction jobs; the company has also made a commitment to hire new employees from the community. As part of the project, the company will invest $1 million toward community programs and projects, including the development of the South Bronx Greenway. NYCEDC issued a Request for Proposals for the 12-acre site in September 2004. The site is bounded by Food Center Drive to the west, 400 Food Center Drive to the north, the Bronx River to the east, and 600 Food Center Drive to the south. Construction is expected to begin Summer 2006, and will take about 18 months to complete.
“Anheuser-Busch is thrilled to be a part of the future of economic development in New York City by relocating our operations to the thriving Hunts Point area in the Bronx,” said Anheuser-Busch President August A. Busch IV. “Our state-of-the-art distribution facility will help keep permanent jobs here and allow us to continue to serve our customers with the freshest beer possible. Thanks to the leadership and support of Mayor Bloomberg, Bronx Borough President Carrion, Deputy Mayor Doctoroff and the NYCEDC, we believe generations of New Yorkers will also benefit from our company’s environmental commitment to the South Bronx Greenway.”
“I am thrilled that these two highly respected companies will further the development of the Food Distribution Center in Hunts Point as a vital center of commerce in New York,” said NYCEDC President Alper. “It will create new good-paying jobs for the people of the Bronx and is a reflection of the success of Mayor Bloomberg’s economic development strategy of making the City more livable, business friendly and economically diverse.”
Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of unprecedented public and private investment in the South Bronx. In March 2005, Mayor Bloomberg announced a commitment of $27 million to promote economic development in Hunts Point, and unveiled a comprehensive vision plan aimed at promoting a competitive business environment and sustainable community in the area. The Administration worked closely with community leaders to create the plan, which calls for developing new waterfront parks, improving traffic safety, upgrading street lighting, repaving streets and improving rail freight lines. In addition, the Department of City Planning is working on a rezoning plan for the area to encourage the expansion of food-related businesses, and the City is launching a comprehensive study to evaluate the opportunities for a potential redevelopment of the Hunts Point Produce Market. In keeping with the City’s Vision Plan recommendations for the area, both Baldor and Anheuser-Busch have committed to maximizing rail freight to reduce truck traffic and emissions.
The Hunts Point Peninsula has an area of roughly 690 acres, with almost half made up of the 329-acre Food Distribution Center, and is located in a Federal Empowerment Zone, New York State Empire Zone, and New York City Commercial Expansion Area, allowing businesses in the area to qualify for a variety of benefits. Much of the New York region is fed by the center, which has more than 130 wholesalers that generate revenue of more than $3 billion a year. The City has already invested $110 million at the Hunts Point fish and produce markets. Earlier this month, the Mayor welcomed the Fulton Fish Market’s 38 wholesalers and 600 employees to their new $85 million facility at the Food Distribution Center in Hunts Point. The state-of-the-art market brings about $1 billion annually in economic activity to the Bronx.
To further revitalize the South Bronx, the Bloomberg administration announced an agreement this summer with the New York Yankees for an area revitalization plan that will include a new Yankee Stadium to be built just north of the existing facility. The plan calls for a new waterfront park and esplanade along the Harlem River, significant streetscape, traffic and infrastructure improvements, and the construction of more than 5,000 new structured parking spaces. The Yankee Stadium project coincides with the rehabilitation of the adjacent Bronx Terminal Market. Plans for the new Gateway Center at the Bronx Terminal Market include a one million-square-foot retail center and a public park along the waterfront. The project will bring 5,000 permanent and construction jobs to the South Bronx and is expected to generate more than $20 million in annual tax revenue for the City. In addition, the Administration is moving ahead with high-quality mixed use developments on two long-vacant sites in the Hub. These much anticipated developments, the first of which begins construction early next year, will offer expanded retail, entertainment, and housing options to local residents and help strengthen the Hub as the commercial center of the South Bronx.