The $29 million boost to the Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx that is being funded by state economic development dollars is welcome news to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The governor doled out $785 million in economic grants to 10 regional councils in the state with the goal of kickstarting job growth, and New York City was awarded more than $66 million.
The funds will go toward projects like affordable housing, an ice skating rink in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, and Hunts Point, billed as the largest produce market in the world.
"We really do need to redo the produce market. It's not competitive anymore," Bloomberg said during his weekly radio show on WOR's John Gambling show Friday.
The 113-acre property has one million square feet of indoor space, but according to the mayor the market is long overdue for an upgrade.
"The roads aren't as good as you'd like. It's difficult to maneuver in there," he said.
The mayor added that the money will also help the city retain the more than 50 businesses that call the market home.
"New Jersey has been very aggressive in offering monies and benefits to the vendors to move over to there," he said. "We can't get into a bidding war, but we can make this as attractive as we can, and I think this would help us do that."
Elsewhere in the state, grant money will be used to fix up waterfronts, downtowns, airports and low-income housing. It will also be used to for job training programs in the health care and hydrofracking industries.