Marqueta Internacional will be a market for the
Community of East Harlem,
and all the people of our City to enjoy. It will be another
great destination point for tourists who come to enjoy the
diversity and flavor of the many ethnic communities and neighborhoods
that make New York the capital of the world.”
--Jose R. Sanchez, Board Chairperson
The East Harlem Business Capital Corporation (EHBCC) has undertaken the development of La Marqueta Internacional. Once completed, it will be a vibrant and robust public market in the heart of El Barrio that –unlike any other public market in the five boroughs – celebrates the food and culture of the growing Puerto Rican and Latin American community in New York City.
This project proposes to totally restore the historic La Marqueta, a city-owned public market in East Harlem located under the Metro North Viaduct along the Park Avenue Corridor from 111th to 116th streets. Since its inception as a pushcart market for the wave of immigrants that have passed through East Harlem, La Marqueta was a source of tremendous pride for the predominately Puerto Rican population that came to dominate the area after World War II. After opening in 1936 under the guidance of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, La Marqueta was a commercial bazaar and community meeting place. It was home to over 200 vendors selling fish, clothing, medicinal herbs, records, religious items, tropical fruits and vegetables. The area was daily packed with shoppers from all over the City, sometimes so crowded you had to fight your way in. That vibrant and lively history of La Marqueta is now just a memory to the East Harlem community. The current La Marqueta is the least patronized municipal market in the City of New York, having fallen victim to economic downturns, political upheaval, deterioration and disrepair. Today there are just eight vendors, and they occupy only 50 percent of one of the original five buildings. In concert with the people of East Harlem, EHBCC is working to bring back – and surpass – La Marqueta’s former glory.
The rebirth of La Marqueta Internacional will include the full development of the MetroNorth corridor from 111th to 119th Streets as a multi-faceted retail center, community gathering space and cultural venue. The enclosed areas of the market will consist of six buildings totaling approximately 85,000 square feet. Additionally, there will be open plazas and a new streetscape with sidewalks for pedestrian traffic along the La Marqueta corridor. La Marqueta will be a visual feast for the eyes, and an actual feast for the palate! Everything from its exterior design to the products sold within will celebrate the colors, smells and sounds of East Harlem’s unique cultural history, dynamic present and promising future.
The focus of La Marqueta will be on the food that represents East Harlem’s major ethnic populations – Puerto Rican, African-American, Mexican, Dominican, Latin-American, Italian and West-African. Customers will be able to find the proper specialty ingredients like fresh produce, spices, cheese, bread, meat and fish to prepare their own authentic dishes at home. Stalls will sell distinctive and unique prepared foods to visitors. Sit-down restaurants will offer a range of menus and prices to accommodate the varied tastes of La Marqueta’s customers.
The wide variety of food available at La Marqueta will be complimented by a number of stores selling the work of local and international artists – household items, jewelry, sculpture and paintings. Additionally, the large public plaza at La Marqueta will host a series of special cultural events (e.g. performances by local musicians or dancers, exhibitions by local artists, film festivals, poetry slams, community festivals, presentations for school groups, and more) throughout the year, creating an air of excitement that will make the market a destination for residents and tourists alike.
take a look at our full La
Marqueta Internacional website.
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