Friday, December 02, 2005

No Baldor Open For BTM Merchants

The NY Times is reporting that Baldor's, a successful South Bronx fruit and vegetable wholesaler, is moving to a larger facility at Hunts Point. At the mayor's press conference, as the Times puts it:
He also seemed to think that the expansion would help the city in its effort to find a new home for the two dozen wholesale produce and ethnic foods merchants being displaced by the redevelopment of the city-owned Bronx Terminal Market.
The mayor added, "We look forward to working with them to capitalize on this opportunity."

Well, if this is an opportunity it is one that none of the merchants can hear any knocking for. As merchant leader Stanley Mayer told the paper, the site had been reviewed but was deemed to small to accommodate all of the vendors. "It's a beautiful facility," he said, "But it's not for us."

The mayor's position on the merchant relocation is somewhat curious. While his awareness and interest is certainly welcome, he should realize, not only is the Baldor's site too small, but that his own economic development agency has been the major impediment to relocation.

Now if the mayor really "looks forward" to working with the BTM merchants he should direct Deputy Dan and EDC to get totally involved with the development of an incentivized relocation plan that can actually work for the preservation of an economically valuable city asset. "Safer" and "cleaner" is good. Viable is even better.