Aiming to Revitalize La Marqueta, Again

Puerto Rican artist Suzy Sanchez came to work at La Marqueta after fleeing Hurricane María. (Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

Despite the revitalization efforts promoted a few years ago by then-City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, in which $3 million was spent on a renovation effort managed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the historic East Harlem market La Marqueta, built in 1934, continues to fail to attract new customers on a regular basis.

In 2017, the Council, the NYCEDC and members of the community took part in a study that led to plans for a space that aimed to be more attractive for business owners and safe and comfortable for the area’s residents. Today, La Marqueta manager Jessenia Cagle, who works for the NYCEDC, is in charge of a new renewal plan, José Martínez reports for El Diario/La Prensa.

“We are working on the design now, and we will soon move on to talking to the community. We hope to start building the first lot, located between 111th and 112th streets, in the winter of 2020,” said Cagle.

According to the conceptualization plan done by the NYCEDC, some $25 million has been allocated to La Marqueta’s renewal through the Neighborhood Redevelopment Fund.

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“What we want to do is bring La Marqueta to what it was in the past,” emphasized Cagle. “However, while we do that, we have Acacia, a Latino nonprofit that supports the organization La Marqueta Retoña (The Market Returns), and they are helping us include the community in it, as is the case of the artists who are in these spaces, and to organize cultural events as well.”

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