Mark-Viverito announces $3M to revitalize ‘La Marqueta’
Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said Thursday she is putting $3 million worth of capital funding toward revitalizing La Marqueta, an outdoor market in her Manhattan district.
The money will be used to update the only indoor facility left in the market, which sits under the elevated railroad tracks from 111th Street to 116th Street.
The market hit its commercial peak in the 1950s and 1960s, when it was used as a hub for the neighborhood’s booming Puerto Rican community. But it fell into disrepair after a devastating fire and the commercialization of other areas in the neighborhood.
"It was the retail super hub of El Barrio East Harlem, but it was even more, where [neighbors] chatted with each other,” Mark-Viverito said.
Mark-Viverito, flanked by Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, the deputy mayor for health and human services, and state officials called the event a “re-blooming” for the market.
The announcement was made in the the section known as ‘La Placita’, a small plaza on the corner of 115th Street and Park Avenue which will now be open to pedestrian traffic and include tables and chairs and eventually free WiFi.
As part of the revitalization, the market will also include a “youth marqueta,” a program for young New Yorkers ages 16 to 24 who will order products, pick vendors, and have cooking demonstrations as part of a workforce development program.
“[We’ll] see La Marqueta flourish to become a prime location again for local entrepreneurs and vendors in a strong community, and be the market super-hub it was once so famously known for," Mark-Viverito said.
The market will also include cultural programming such as free music performances and activities for kids, she said.