Work is now under way to convert one of Buenos Aires’ most historical downtown buildings into a new food market and court to be known as El Mercado de los Carruajes, which should be open to the public in December of this year.
Located between Retiro and Puerto Madero on Avenida Leandro N. Alem 852, the old parking space originally used during the 20th century for Argentine presidents will be home to more than 36 produce shops, with high quality produce to be sourced organically from the region as well as from abroad.
The 4200 m2 space will be divided into two sections, one being for packaged high end produce such as cheeses, fish and premium meats, many of which will be imported from Spain. The other section will be more of a food court containing asado (of course), beer houses, ice cream parlors, and a tapas style grazing area.
Using worldwide food markets such as the Chelsea Market in New York City and Borough Market in London as inspiration, and with hopes of turning the market into an iconic food space in Buenos Aires, City Mayor Rodríguez Larreta emphasized how the redevelopment of the space was a necessary step to help cement Buenos Aires’ reputation as the food capital of Latin America. He added that good food has become one of the most important factors that tourists use when choosing a destination, and also mentioned the fact that porteños enjoy eating well too, specially seeing how Argentina has produce and chefs of the highest standard.
The City’s Deputy Mayor Diego Santilli is keen to make Buenos Aires a city in which residents and tourists can enjoy themselves, and even more so if this means creating jobs at the same time. With the regeneration of the market, around 200 new jobs within the immediate area will be created, along with a predicted further 1000 jobs generated indirectly.
When the government announced plans for redevelopment of the building, a public bidding was held with the final paid sum coming to more than AR $60 million. Athénée Groupe, an Argentine developing company, were the ones to take home the prize. In addition, Spanish developing group MERCASA (responsible for the development of more than 1600 markets worldwide) are also to be involved in the regeneration project to make the market – and Buenos Aires – a one stop space for gourmet market food.