Controversy in South Bronx as Food Company Expands

Hunts Point Produce Market wants to keep the Sheridan Expressway

Residents of the South Bronx are in the midst of a three-way tug-of-war with city officials and food distributor Hunts Point Produce Market, according to The New York Times.

At the heart of the issue is Sheridan Expressway. Residents have proposed to replace the highly trafficked highway with apartments and gardens while Hunts Point Produce Market has advocated for keeping it because New York City plans to turn the neighborhood into a haven for the food industry. The plan to demolish the expressway was canned last month by the Bloomberg administration, according to StreetBlog.org.

Hunts Point Produce Market plans to expand, moving into a 176,000-square-foot building next June. The deal is expected to create 100 new jobs in the next five years. FreshDirect, a home food delivery service, also plans to move to the area as well, according to The New York Times.

The Bloomberg administration argued that the demolition of the expressway would lead to greater congestion of trucks on city streets and poor air quality, but residents don’t buy it. This call comes in the wake of the New York City Economic Development Corporation negotiating a long-term contract with the market reported StreetBlog.org. The removal of the expressway was a casualty of the negotiations between the city and Hunts Point, according to radio station WNYC.

The South Bronx River Watershed Alliance, a group in support of the removal of the expressway, has suggested there are flaws in the city’s review of the expressway demolition. The city continues to support its plan while additional options remain unidentified and Hunts Point Produce Market continues with plans for expansion.

Sean Flynn is a Junior Writer for The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @BuffaloFlynn