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July 24, 2009

U.S. House Approves $800,000 for Brooklyn Projects

Washington, DC –The U.S. House of Representatives has approved $800,000 in federal resources to revitalize Brooklyn’s Moore Street Market and refurbish historic features in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood.  The projects were included in the FY2010 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Appropriations.  Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) said the two projects would strengthen Brooklyn communities by promoting local commerce and tourism.

“I am pleased to support projects that improve our neighborhoods for the benefit of residents, business owners and visitors.  By fixing up a Brooklyn marketplace and beautifying a historic neighborhood, we can help small businesses succeed and draw new consumers to the area,” Velázquez said. 

Under the bill, the Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) would receive $400,000 in funds for improvements to the Moore Street Market, known as “La Marqueta.”  This will include creating stalls for additional vendors, building a shared commercial kitchen space for food vendors, constructing a community meeting space, and improving the building’s energy efficiency.  Velázquez has worked for years to preserve the Moore Street Market.  When faced with the possibility of its closure in 2007, she secured $250,000 in federal resources for the development a strategic plan to ensure the market’s long-term economic sustainability.  Earlier this year, the merchants negotiated a five-year lease agreement with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), and they continue to implement improvements that will keep the market viable in coming years.

“La Marqueta is an asset to the neighborhood, providing a place for the community to gather, shop and discover authentic cultural experiences.  I will remain a partner of the hard working entrepreneurs who have made the market an economic engine for the neighborhood and employ dozens of workers,” Velázquez said.

The U.S. House also approved $400,000 in funding for the Brooklyn Heights Association to reinstall historic lighting in the neighborhood.  The funding will go toward replacing the aluminum pole lighting with reproductions of the original, 20th Century cast-iron “Bishop’s Crook” and “M-Pole” street lights.  This area, which in 1965 was designated as New York City’s first historic district, is now one of Brooklyn’s most popular tourist destinations. 

“Brooklyn Heights has preserved its identity as an old New York neighborhood, and today draws many to experience the history and beauty of the area.  The Brooklyn Heights Association is dedicated to improving the community for residents and businesses, and I am pleased to help them maintain this urban gem,” Velázquez said.

The FY2010 T-HUD Appropriations bill passed the House yesterday evening by a vote of 256 to 168.  The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate for approval. 

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