Hunts Point Market negotiations hit another stumbling block

Hunts Point Produce Market is again threatening to move to New Jersey. Despite having secured a $172.5 million incentive package from the city, the market said it would allow the exclusive negotiating window with the city to expire, the New York Times reported.

The market and the city were believed to be on the verge of finalizing an agreement to keep the market, which generates $2.3 billion in sales annually and employs more than 3,500 people, in the Bronx, where it has been located since 1967. But the market cooperative and the city can’t agree on the role of the Business Integrity Commission, an agency charged with preventing organized crime in carting.

“They feel they have an open-ended power to oversee everything done by the management of this market,” Matthew D’Arrigo, co-president of the cooperative, told the Times. “We fundamentally disagree. Their mission begins and ends with organized crime.”

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Before this issue arose, city officials anticipated the market would sign a 99-year lease and spend about $330 million to upgrade its Hunts Point location. Now, the market is eyeing New Jersey, which is willing to do “whatever it would take” to get it, according to co-president Stephen Katzman. However, D’Arrigo insisted the market preferred to stay in the city. [NYT]Adam Fusfeld