City shifts urban development strategy

November 01, 2010 01:30PM

An ambitious $44.6 million plan from the Harlem Community Development Corp. to revitalize La Marqueta in East Harlem is not gaining support among public officials, Crain’s reported. In a sign of the city’s shifting economic development strategy, this latest attempt to transform the market would extend it to East 132nd Street from 116th Street, creating up to 4,000 jobs and giving a jump-start to budding food manufacturers. With projects like Willets Point, Atlantic Yards and Hudson Yards stalled or scaled back, the Economic Development Corp. has shifted its focus from major real estate development to small-scale efforts. The goal is to reinvent the city’s economy through the promotion of emerging sectors like green building and biotechnologies. But critics say the new approach isn’t doing enough to help small businesses. “Too few of our immigrant businesses grow beyond the mom-and-pop stage,” said Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for an Urban Future. However, large investments are still coming from the private sector, such as Columbia University, which spends $2 billion a year in the New York area and has 14,000 employees and whose presence encourages developers to build in the area. [Crain’s]