Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
The city is hoping a new tenant in a once-thriving marketplace will cook up renewed interest in this historic La Marqueta space below the MetroNorth tracks in East Harlem.
Hot Bread Kitchen is a nonprofit bakery that trains people to start their own food businesses. It will occupy 3,000-square feet in the city-owned space on Park Ave. near 115th Street.
"You know my in-laws shopped here in the '60s, and I just saw the potential of having this anchor our business," Hot Bread Kitchen CEO Jessamyn Waldman said.
The city allocated more than $1 million to turn the vacant space into a state-of-the-art industrial kitchen.
"Unfortunately, it had fallen into a state of disrepair," said Seth Pinsky of the city's Economic Development Corporation. "But amazingly, we've been able to turn it into this incredible new incubator space which is going to be producing food and new businesses."
Pinsky says EDC is planning more initiatives to bring La Marqueta back to life.
Founded in the LaGuardia administration, La Marqueta was once a bustling marketplace and an attraction for tourists. But in recent years it's dwindled to just a handful of shops.