A statewide greenmarket food hub will soon take root in the south Bronx.
As part of his FY2020 capital budget, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. announced on Thursday, July 25 that he will provide $650,000 in capital funding towards establishing the NYS Greenmarket Regional Food Hub.
Known as ‘The Hub,’ the over $25 million, 2-story, 75,000 square foot distribution facility will be located in Hunts Point and operated by nonprofit GrowNYC.
It will include a refrigerated area for local business and farms, a food processing area, a distribution center and a wholesale farmers’ market.
The BLD Architecture designed facility will occupy the former auxiliary parking lot next to the Fulton Fish Market and the current site of the seasonal Wholesale Greenmarket near Halleck Street and Viele Avenue.
The land is owned by the city and would be leased, according to the NYC Economic Development Corporation.
A GrowNYC spokeswoman confirmed that The Hub’s eco-friendly design includes a combo solar and green roof, an electric truck charging station, bio-digester and a green wall among many other sustainability features.
The Hub’s paved parking lot is 60,000 square feet and includes space for 27 car stalls.
Five GrowNYC trucks are currently planned to be used at the facility.
The Hub will transport approximately 20 million pounds of local produce annually.
It will also create 95 permanent living-wage jobs and 150 construction jobs in Hunts Point.
The project is anticipated to begin in fall 2019 and will be completed in spring 2021.
Marcel Van Ooyen, GrowNYC president, noted that local farmers are suffering from a lack of access to business opportunities in the NYC marketplace and underserved communities lack access to fresh, local foods and the jobs and resources that make them available.
“With The Hub we are addressing all of these needs,” stated Van Ooyen.
It will expand GrowNYC’s wholesale distribution infrastructure which makes high-quality, local healthy foods accessible to underserved New Yorkers via wholesale buyers such as restaurants and institutions and through innovative partnerships with nonprofit organizations.
The Hub will fortify rural communities by paying farmers fairly for the food they produce.
“The food industry is one of the most significant economic engines in our borough and this project will only help that sector expand and grow stronger,” expressed Diaz.
This past April, GrowNYC received a $200,000 grant from the NYS Health Foundation to support its food distribution programs Greenmarket Co., Youthmarket and Fresh Food Box.
The funding allows GrowNYC to continue operating the Uptown Grand Central Fresh Food Box and Lower East Side and Brownsville Pitkin Youthmarkets which distribute over 95,000 pounds of food annually.
The Hub will distribute food throughout NYC and increase access to affordable, healthy foods and fresh produce in underserved communities.