Business / Food

Meat market faces uncertain future

Joe Hirsch

Sculptures of cows near the entrance to The Hunts Point Cooperative Market.

Owners say city must invest in infrastructure

The Hunts Point Cooperative warns it will soon begin losing member businesses unless the city stops treating them like an unwanted child.

The 39 companies that comprise the market sell an estimated 2.5 billion pounds of meat annually from its 60-acre facility on Food Center Drive, racking up $3.2 billion in sales to restaurants, supermarkets and stores across the northeast. In all, the market employs about 2,500 workers.

But its owners complain that although the city owns the land, it refuses to pay for the market’s upkeep, forcing businesses to shell out for repairs and maintenance on outdated infrastructure.

Market officials told Rep. Jose E. Serrano on a recent tour of the facility that they fear companies will soon begin leaving the Co-op unless the city invests in upgrades to roads, refrigeration and the seven buildings that house them.

“The businesses working here have not seen any real cooperation from City officials to keep us here,” said Bruce Reingold, the market’s general manager.

In addition, Reingold pointed out that the city recently restructured its lease with the Produce Market a mile away, lowering its rent to allow for a major investment in repairs. City officials have offered no similar perks to the meat sellers, he said.

“For years there has been a huge disparity between the costs of staying in the Bronx, between the Hunts Point Produce Market and the Meat Market,” Reingold said. “This gap just got even larger with the Produce Market’s new lease from the City. We are just looking for the same consideration and help.”

 

 

 

 

 

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