Mayor Lovely A. Warren was joined by community leaders and advocates to break ground on La Marketa at The International Plaza, a project that will turn a vacant lot on North Clinton Avenue across from St. Michael’s Church into a vibrant and colorful outdoor public space programmed with retail opportunities as well as music, dancing and other cultural activities. North Clinton Avenue, also known as the El Camino neighborhood, is the hub of Rochester’s Puerto Rican and Latinx community.
“For twenty years, the neighbors of El Camino have wanted a public, multicultural marketplace where they could gather to celebrate their culture through shopping, food, music, dance and more,” Mayor Warren said. “When I joined City Council more than 10 years ago, I promised that I would stand alongside these residents in their push to improve their neighborhood by creating more jobs, safer streets and better educational opportunities. Today, their vision finally becomes a reality.”
La Marketa will feature colorful walkways, a bandstand, green space and shipping containers repurposed as retail kiosks—much like those at the Rochester Public Market—as well as amenities that can accommodate a variety of events. The City of Rochester Department of Recreation and Youth Services will program the space and oversee operations once the project is complete.
The project is being funded in part with a $1.3 million grant from the Rochester Economic Development Corporation, $426,700 from the Rochester Urban Renewal Agency, a $487,800 Community Development Block Grant and a $400,000 grant from N.Y. State Empire State Development. It is expected to be completed before the winter of 2020.
Ibero Development, the Ibero American Action League, the North Clinton Business Association and other community partners have worked with the City to design La Marketa.