At a recent meeting of New York City and Hunts Point Terminal Market officials, the city backed off from a contentious proposal to set the market’s hours, but officials are still far from approving a plan for a new market, a market official said.
The city made a verbal agreement to scale back oversight of the market by the Business Integrity Commission, an agency tasked with ending organized crime influence, said Matthew D’Arrigo, vice president of D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of New York Inc. and co-chairman of the Hunts Point Terminal Market.
The commission had wanted a central role in setting the market’s hours of operation, D’Arrigo said.
While the city has backed off — though not formally — from that demand, D’Arrigo said no progress has been made on another contentious issue: the commission’s proposal to raise registration fees from $250 to $4,000 and boost the costs of mandatory worker photo identification from $16 to $100.
Despite progress on the issue of commission oversight, D’Arrigo said the market and the city are a long ways from agreement on a new market — including about whether it would be built on Hunts Point or at a different location.
And given the current fiscal climate, D’Arrigo doubts if the city is close to greenlighting a project that city and market officials estimate could cost $320 million.
“Nobody in government around here is looking to spend a lot of money,” D’Arrigo said. “We have very difficult negotiations ahead of us.”
Steve Katzman, the other market co-chair and the owner of S. Katzman Produce Inc., could not be reached for comment.