La Marqueta: Examining the Retail Landscape of East Harlem

Urban Planning Thesis

Abby Scattergood

Stacey Sutton, advisor

Located in the East Harlem section of Manhattan, La Marqueta was established in the 1930s to house the abundance of pushcart vendors clogging the city’s streets, and is now one of only four remaining public markets in the five boroughs. At the peak of Spanish Harlem in the 1950’s and ‘60s, La Marqueta had more than 500 vendors. As the East Harlem neighborhood has changed, however, La Marqueta has dwindled in size to only eight vendors and continues to struggle to attract customers and support profitable businesses. This thesis analyzed the feasibility of La Marqueta’s future in East Harlem through a neighborhood demographic and retail analysis as well as a comparative analysis of other markets with similar characteristics to La Marqueta. Ultimately, this research provided recommendations for La Marqueta to support profitable and sustainable businesses and increase foot traffic and sales at the market.