Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, 2007
Harlem EDC is working with Irwin Cohen, the man who developed the thriving Chelsea Market, on the revitalization of the La Marqueta, which will stretch for 22 blocks from from 111th to 133rd Streets. Since the rail line covering the market is still in use, there will be no elevated park like Manhattan’s High Line, but the covered market will be expanded and updated to hold up to 900 independent market stalls open to anyone who would like to rent one. The city is hoping to keep the stall rental as low as possible in order to encourage vendors to move in. The vision for the market will likely be modeled off London’s Borough Market, will include the latest in environmental “green” planning and architecture, and will build updated public facilities, bathrooms, park areas, and plazas all along the mile stretch.
Cohen helped envision the grand scheme for the market — he said it “could become a fantastic graduate school for people to learn to run businesses and to develop sustainable family wealth. You could have six people from different backgrounds making velvet cake, someone from China making Chinese birthday cakes, a guy from Senegal who specializes in Senegalese tea. On one block, you have a Mariachi band and, on another, a place where people could play bocce. Suddenly, you create something that attracts people from all over. It becomes a destination.”