After seven years in business, the New Amsterdam Market near New York City’s South Street Seaport is closing up shop. “We held a total 88 markets and numerous innovative celebrations of our region’s bounty; supported nearly 500 food entrepreneurs; and contributed to the creation of more than 350 jobs,” Robert LaValva, the market’s founder, said in a statement. “However, I was never able to raise the funding or attract the influential backers needed for our organization to thrive.”
The news of the market’s closing comes in the midst of an ongoing debate over the Seaport’s future, which could include a 50-story residential tower. The fate of that project is not certain, but the developer behind it, the Howard Hughes Corporation, is already demolishing an old shopping mall on the Seaport’s Pier 17 to make way for a glassy, 300,000-square-foot replacement designed by ShoP Architects. According to LaValva, this type of development is to blame for the popular market’s demise. He went so far as to call Councilmember Margaret Chin’s support for Howard Hughes’ plans a “mortal blow” to the New Amsterdam Market.
In a statement issued shortly after LaValva’s, the councilmember said she was saddened by the market’s closing, but that she was not to blame for it. “I proudly helped secure funding from the City Council and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation in order to support the New Amsterdam Market. I made sure to provide Mr. LaValva and the New Amsterdam Market with opportunities to formalize his relationship with the City,” she said. “Now, Mr. LaValva is trying to publicly blame me for a situation he could have prevented by working more collaboratively with my office and the City. It might make for an attention-grabbing email blast, but it’s not the truth.”
The New Amsterdam’s last market was held on June 21st.