Posts Tagged “Hunts Point”

Hunts Point is No Closer to Having Modern Facilities

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DSCN4933Despite a mayoral pledge to revitalize operations, the nearly two-decade battle to modernize the Hunts Point Terminal Market’s distribution facilities appears no closer to completion.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio in early March announced his administration plans to invest $150 million over 12 years to revitalize aging operations.  However some Hunts Point wholesalers say the mayor wasn’t specifically talking about the Hunts Point Produce Terminal.

Instead, the mayor’s announcement was neighborhood-specific and was referring to all the food markets on the Hunts Point peninsula, which include the Fulton Fish Market and the Hunts Point Cooperative Market, which is also known as the Hunts Point Meat Market.  When one does the math, $150 million over 12 years doesn’t amount to much and isn’t considered remarkable.

The $150 million isn’t anywhere near the $800 million needed to modernize operations, although the city is spending money to improve the market.  It is pointed out that a $21 million project constructing railroad sidings alongside the market’s buildings and constructing an open-air rail shed on the market’s east side for freight car unloading is underway.

At the 329-acre facility, 115 wholesalers that employ more than 8,000 workers distribute from the market’s four buildings that were constructed in the late 1960s.  Talks to move distributors out of the aging 500,000-square-foot market began in 2000.

Washington produce rates on apples, cherries – grossing about $7400 to New York City.

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Nathel & Nathel Expands Operations at Hunts Point

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DSCN4954Nathel & Nathel Inc. has expanded operations on the Hunts Point Terminal Market located in the South Bronx of New York City.

The New York-based wholesaler has added refrigeration capacity, reconfigured its fruit and vegetable divisions and improved its docks for truck loading and unloading.  Following the closure of  Krisp-Pak Sales Corp. in 2012, Nathel & Nathel took over its units and was working on closing on the purchase of units from the defunct Korean Farm, which went out of business in 2014.

Nathel & Nathel now distributes produce from to 23 units.

The distributor also upgraded the warehouse to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point standards.

Better refrigeration control in different zones will result from the improvements, according to company vice president Sheldon Nathel said.    It also should result in better temperature control for fruits and vegetables as well as better organize the operation, making it more efficient.

Nathel & Nathel sells a full line of fruits and vegetables, including tropicals and specialties, to customers throughout the Tri-State region.

The Hunts Point Terminal Market occupies 329 acres and supports 115 private wholesalers that employ over 8,000 people.

Hunts Point wholesalers are paying a freight rate of about $5000 from the Lower Rio Grand Valley of Texas for fruits and vegetables, and about $4800 for Idaho potatoes.


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Katzman at Hunts Point is Acquiring Okun Inc.

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DSCN4920S. Katzman Produce Inc. is purchasing  the unites of Morris Okun Inc.on the Bronx, N.Y.-based Hunts Point Terminal Market.

It continues a trend of fewer but larger wholesalers on the world’s largest produce wholesale terminal market.  In 1967 there were 125 wholesalers.  Today, there are 40 wholesalers, but it soon will be 39.

Katzman, which also operates Katzman Berry Corp., contracted to buy Okun’s 16 units on Row B after purchasing five units on Row D in late January, said Steve Katzman, president.

The purchase expands Katzman’s market presence from 21 units to 37 units on the 262 unit terminal,

Okun owner Roni Okun has decide to retire.  The Okun name will not be retained.

Katzman Produce owns 100 vans storing produce alongside the terminal and Katzman said the purchase should help easy some of the market’s space headaches.

“This will help us tremendously in the expansion of our business,” he said. “We will have more refrigeration space and have plans to modernize the units. This will help us with not having to double-handle product and helps by not breaking the cold chain.”

Distributing a full line of fruit and vegetables to retailers and foodservice purveyors throughout the Tri-State region, Okun began operations in 1926 as a small family-owned venture on the old Washington Market in south Manhattan.

A fourth-generation family company, Katzman sells conventional, organic and specialty produce to retailers, restaurants, distributors and caterers throughout the Northeast as well as to customers in Canada, Europe and the North Atlantic.

Katzman’s produce lineage traces to 1890 when Samuel Katzman sold bunched greens and other vegetables from a horse and wagon.

The Katzman operation is also a partner with Top Banana LLC in Top Katz Brokers LLC.


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Hunts Point to Receive $150 Million Revitilization

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DSCN4975New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to invest $150 million to revitalize the Hunts Point Terminal Market in the Bronx, NY, over 12 years, “fortifying a vital aspect of our infrastructure: our food supply,” he said Thursday, March 5, at an Association for a Better New York event.

de Blasio said the plans will modernize the buildings and infrastructure that are currently at Hunts Point and open up new space for small businesses. “More than that, this is a bold vision, with a major financial commitment that will make the site resilient and sustainable, improving New York’s readiness for natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy,” he said.

“It’s hard to overstate how important this facility is for our city,” the mayor noted.
The Hunts Point Terminal Market occupies 329 acres and supports 115 private wholesalers that employ over 8,000 people. “These are good, decent-paying jobs for New Yorkers at every education level,” de Blasio said. “Our plan protects those jobs and positions the site to create many more jobs for New Yorkers in the future.”

The plan will also include dedicated space to better link New Yorkers to food that is grown and produced in upstate New York, strengthening the city’s partnership with upstate communities, farms and businesses.

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Hunts Point, New York City Sign 7-Year Lease Agreement

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102_0299On the last day of the Bloomberg administration, city officials bought some time in their long-running effort to keep the Hunts Points Terminal Produce Market from leaving the Bronx for New Jersey or elsewhere.

New York City’s Economic Development Corporation announced on Tuesday that, after years of sometimes contentious negotiations, the market’s lease had been renewed for seven years. The agreement keeps the wholesale market and its 3,000 jobs in the South Bronx until June 2021. The market, which has operated since 1967, has an option to renew the lease for 10 years after that.

The agreement is a step toward developing a long-term plan to overhaul the market, which occupies more than 100 acres. The city agreed to reduce the maximum annual rent the market pays to $4 million from $4.5 million. In return, the market agreed to reduce the amount it can deduct from that rent for repairs it makes to its infrastructure to $1.5 million from $2.25 million annually.
Hunts Point is the world’s largest wholesale produce market.  Thousands of refrigerated 18 wheelers from all over North America deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to the compound each week.  The product is then distributed mostly on a regional basis, the nation’s most populated area.

By The New York Times

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Hunts Point Wholesalers’ View of Produce Trucking, Freight Rates

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103_0307Hunts Point Wholesale  Produce Market is the largest produce terminal in the world,  moving 3 billion pounds of fruits and vegetables from 55 countries and 49 states through its stalls each year.   The 113-acre complex has more than 1 million-square-feet of shop and storage space, houses 42 merchants, employs 10,000 people, and generates $2.4 billion in sales annually.

 Hunts Point, located in the South Bronx,  serves New York City and the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut), bringing fresh produce to an ethnically diverse population of more than 23 million.   The terminal facility  sells to retailers, secondary wholesalers, restaurants, and other foodservice outfits.

For over 10 years Hunts Point has faced a challenge due to operating in a 1960s-era facility that’s both in need of repair and has been outgrown.

Storage is limited, and the layout was built for smaller trucks than today’s 53-foot trailers.  Infrastructure (including electrical needs) is inadequate, and the cold chain is a challenge.  Over the past several years,  there’s been questions, if rebuilt, is there  enough room on the existing campus to accommodate a new market that will last the next 50-plus years.


A combination of fewer trucks due to the economy reducing the number of  owner-operators and carriers, plus fuel costs led to what wholesalers claim were record freight rates last summer.

“Freight has been very rough,” says Hunts Point wholesaler Jim Hunt. “Up until July Fourth, freight out of California to New York was astronomical, in the $8,500 to $9,000 range. Also, trucks were hard to come by, and this is something we will have to deal with going forward.”

“It gets broken down as a function of the delivered cost,” explains Hunt.  Hypothetically, if freight is $8,000 or $9,000 for a 20-pallet truck, the f.o.b. price is $5 per box. And if the freight is another $5, this puts the merchant in at $10. “If you’re trying to make 15 percent, you have to gun for $12 and fall short at $11,” he said.

“If freight were to continue to go up the way it has, it would be unsustainable for the produce industry,” concedes wholesaler Matthew D’Arrigo. “But the beauty of our industry is that we don’t have government regulations setting freight rates; we have the laws of supply and demand.



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Hunts Point Businesses Riled over Crime Chasing Agency’s Tactics

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105_0507Today, more than half of the wholesalers and other businesses on the Hunts Point Terminal Market will meet at a community Chamber of Commerce to air their grievences over the tactics of the Business Integrity Commission, an obscure New York City agency that regulates the wholesale market in the South Bronx.  Now the BIC is expanding its scope to include businesses  located just outside the 113-acre facility.

Hunts Point receives thousand of truckloads of produce each week from across North America and around the world.  It is the globe’s largest wholesale produce terminal.

About 30  of Hunts Point’s 42 businesses are expected to attend the CoC meeting.  They are upset over BIC’s tactics, including a requirement that the companies’ employees—mostly low-wage, minority workers—complete an 11-page form that asks personal questions about the workers’ spouses, employment history and addresses over the past decade. The information is used to vet their eligibility to work at the companies, and there are significant fees associated with completing these forms.

“We see this as a violation of the employees’ civil rights,”  Josephine Infante, president of the Hunts Point Economic Development Corp., told Crain’s in an online article published September 11.  “People feel threatened.”

BIC, a law enforcement agency is focused on rooting out organized crime in the carting industry and public wholesale food markets and has had success in eliminating mob infiltration at the former Fulton Fish Market. But the agency is now at the center of a dispute between the city and the vendors over a plan to redevelop the market and ink a 30-year lease, Crain’s reports.  The market, says BIC’s involvement in its operations is the chief reason it has not struck a deal and may move out of the city.

In 2009, legislation expanded the agency’s authority to wholesale businesses located in a defined geographic region beyond the walls of the meat, produce and fish markets. Hunts Point community leaders say BIC has recently ramped up its outreach in the area, and they are concerned that it will have a chilling effect on economic growth in the neighborhood.

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Hunts Point to Refile Lawsuit Against New York City

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 105_0505The Hunts Point Wholesale Terminal Produce  Market  that has been a dispute with New York will have to withdraw its  April lawsuit against the city and refile it  since the huge market  did not follow the proper procedures, according to a story this week by Crain’s New York Business.  The new lawsuit will include additional charges against New York City.

Hunts Points receives thousands of truckloads of fresh fruits and vegetables from around the country and the globe each week.  It is the world’s largest wholesale produce market.

“We made the decision to withdraw our [complaint], which we did yesterday, and we will inform the city that we are bringing a new action,” said Sid Davidoff of Davidoff Hutcher & Cinton, the law firm representing Hunts Point. We are essentially starting over with some new causes of action.”

The market’s owners—41 merchants who are part of a cooperative, have been in a standoff with the city’s Economic Development Corp. over a new 30-year lease to redevelop the 113-acre site.

The two sides basically haven’t talked to each other since January,mainly because of the merchants’ rocky relationship with the Business Integrity Commission, a law-enforcement agency that regulates public food markets among other industries.

The merchants sued BIC, which they say hired an unscrupulous security firm to investigate themerchants business and security practices.

“We believe we have a case,” Mr. Davidoff said.

A spokesman for the city agency said, “We cannot comment on the possibility of future litigation. All we know is that they filed a lawsuit, we moved to dismiss and in response to our motion they discontinued their lawsuit,” reported Crain’s New York Business.


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Hunts Point Vendors Sue New York City as Fued Continues

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103_0304Months after talks over a new site for the Hunts Point Terminal Market broke down, the market’s vendors have sued the City of New York.

Hunts Point is the world’s largest wholesale terminal produce market and thousands of refrigerated big rigs deliver fresh produce to it daily, for distribution throughout New England and much of the East Coast.

On April 22, the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative Association sued the city and its Business Integrity Commission, according to court documents filed in Bronx Supreme Court.

The association claims in the suit that the Business Integrity Commission, which oversees many activities at Hunts Point, forced produce wholesalers to hire an unqualified consultant to review the association’s public safety department.

A no-bid contract was issued to Long Island-based Global Consulting LLC, which, the suit argues, not only was unqualified for the job but was run by principals with “checkered law enforcement histories.”

The work Global Consulting did for the association was “superficial” and consisted largely of documents provided by the association itself.

The association is suing the City and the Business Integrity Commission for $500,000.

The lawsuit comes at a time when talks between Hunts Point’s produce vendors and the City over construction of a new terminal market have broken down.

In a January meeting, the market board rejected a city offer to amend its existing lease.

Talks  are not expected to resume until 2014, when a new mayor enters office.


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Hunts Point, New York City Fighting Continues with Lawsuit

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Last month the produce vendors at the Hunts Point Terminal Wholesale Market sued New York City, naming as a defendant the Business Integrity Commission, a law-enforcement agency that regulates public food markets and haulers and carters, among other industries. Known as BIC, the agency has long been a source of contention for the produce executives, who claim it oversteps its authority, according to Crain’s New York Business.

Hunts Point is the world’s largest produce wholesale market and thousands of 18 wheelers deliver fresh fruits and vegetable to the complex each week.

The lawsuit accuses BIC of defrauding the produce market and of being duplicitous because although the agency’s role is to root out corruption and remove employees who have ties to organized crime, it awarded a consulting contract several years ago to an obscure security firm whose principals had extensive criminal records. BIC required the market to pay the firm, Global Consulting, $100,000 to prepare a report on security procedures at Hunts Point, Crain’s reports.

Two years of negotiations between the city and the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market over a new 30-year lease and a revamped facility have led to a dead end and a lawsuit. The two sides agree on only one point: They are at an impasse.

The last time any meaningful discussion took place between the market and the city, which owns the land at the 113-acre site, was in January. That’s when the market, operated by 41 merchants who are part of a cooperative, rejected the city’s offer to extend its lease by 10 years while it continued to work on a deal to renovate the 46-year-old facility.

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