Proposal for vibrant retail strip under Park Avenue viaduct gets support from Center for an Urban Future
August 2, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — In a study released Thursday, the Center for an Urban Future (CUF) embraced the concept of an open-air market under the Metro North tracks on Park Avenue from 111th Street to 133rd Street conceived and developed by Harlem Community Development Corporation (HCDC). HCDC’s La Marqueta Mile plan would work with a range of community, business and public entities to revitalize and extend the old La Marqueta from 111th to 116th streets into a broader vision to suit today’s times. Center for an Urban Future went so far as to call the plan “A High Line for Harlem.”
“The mile-long market proposed by Harlem CDC offers the most promise for a full-scale revival of this important New York institution,” said CUF writer David Giles. “It does so by not only bringing in new food purveyors to an area that currently lacks access to fresh food, but by carving out invaluable new public space for residents and ultimately creating an attraction that would benefit hundreds of local entrepreneurs and artisans,” Giles added.
Since 2006, Harlem CDC’s Planning Department brought together community experts and professionals to create an environmentally and culturally sustainable plan for converting the underutilized area under the active elevated Metro North Park Avenue viaduct rail line from 111th to 133rd Streets. They envisioned a vibrant, permanent outdoor market and public park promenade featuring cultural events, specialty foods, arts and crafts, all produced on-site by local artisans.
“Since my arrival here four years ago, I am extremely excited to know that La Marqueta Mile is finally gaining some momentum and credibility that’s long overdue,” said Harlem CDC President Curtis L. Archer. “ It’s always been a difficult project, but with the vision Harlem CDC has crafted with the community, it will yield tremendous benefits for all of Harlem’s residents and small entrepreneurs.”
This vision combines the latest in green planning and architecture coupled with an innovative approach to workforce development that engages the local community in the design, construction and operation of the market. Working closely with elected officials, local community groups, entrepreneurs and the City of New York, Harlem CDC seeks to create space for approximately 900 new local businesses and 4,000 career jobs interspersed with cultural programming along the entire La Marqueta Mile.
For more information, see “A High Line For Harlem”
Harlem Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Empire State Development Corporation, serves the greater Harlem community through planning and implementing a range of community development and revitalization initiatives for restoring Upper Manhattan as an economically stable and culturally vibrant community. For more information on Harlem CDC and its role in the La Marqueta Mile, please visit http://www.harlemcdc.org/Planning/planning_market.htm.
Director, Communications, Community & Government Relations
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