If the residents of Manhattan's Community Board 1 had their way, the New Amsterdam Market would move into the old Fulton Fish Market buildings right this minute. At last night's Seaport and Civic Center Committee meeting, New Amsterdam Market founder Robert LaValva shared his proposal for moving his growing locavore market into the unused buildings with an extremely supportive standing-room-only crowd. The structures in question are the New Market Building and the Tin Building, both of which are controlled by the City Economic Development Corporation. New Amsterdam currently operates in the parking lot of the buildings, but with the proper funding and support, LaValva wants to restore the structures and return them to their original market use. Additionally, LaValva wants to expand the market to include traditional food production, a distribution system for Lower Manhattan restaurants, and an education center that offers hands-on classes about local and sustainable food.
The Community Board, which has supported New Amsterdam since its inception in 2006, is very much in support of the market's growth, and they plan to set up a meeting with LaValva, Seaport developer Howard Hughes (who has not expressed interested in the old market buildings), the EDC, and the community's elected officials to discuss the next steps. A dozen individuals, ranging from a representative for Assemblyman Sheldon Silver to aquaculture author Paul Greenberg of the Times to a local mother, gave testimony in support of New Amsterdam Market, which brings together food purveyors and farmers all from the local region. Only one disgruntled individual had something negative to say: "My problem with the New Amsterdam Market is that it's not in Brooklyn. Come on, just come to Brooklyn."
· New Amsterdam Market [official website]
· Manhattan Community Board 1 [nyc.gov]
· Vintage Photos of the Fulton Fish Market in its Glory Days [Curbed]
· Fulton Fish Market coverage [Curbed]