Some of the city’s most sought-after food trucks are heading to Long Island City this summer – part of a rotating roster of mobile eateries participating in a Long Island City food truck court.
The daily feast on wheels will begin within the next two weeks at 43-29 Crescent St., organizers said.
Although happy about the new initiative, truck owners said it won’t solve the recent city crackdown on food trucks parking in metered spots.
“It’s an exciting opportunity and a network of private lots could be an alternative to street vending,” said David Weber, president of the New York City Food Truck Association. “But I don’t think by itself it’s a solution.”
Mayoral spokeswoman Samantha Levine said laws prohibiting the sale of merchandise at metered parking spaces have been on the books for about 40 years.
But the law is now being stringently enforced after a judge recently ruled that food was considered merchandise.
“We’re having conversations with truck owners,” Levine said. “We’re helping them identify legal locations where they can park and sell their food.”
After hearing of the vendors’ troubles, the Rockrose Development Corp. real estate development firm stepped in.
Rockrose set aside a parking lot, which it plans to eventually turn into housing, for the food court. It caters to nearby office workers, said Senior Vice President Patricia Dunphy.
Rockrose intends to operate it through the summer and into the fall – if not longer, she said. And a local arts group plans to install swimming pools made from retrofitted Dumpsters across the street.
“This is very experimental,” Dunphy said. “We have to see how it works out.”
Kim Ima, owner of The Treats Truck, which sells homemade cookies, brownies and Rice Krispie treats, said she’s excited about the new endeavor.
“I lost all my bread-and-butter main spots,” Ima said of the staple street locations she has used for the last four years.
“Now the business as I built it is at risk,” she added, noting her profits have plummeted by more than 50% in the last month alone.
Derek Kaye, owner of Eddie’s Pizza Truck, also has seen his profits dip 15% to 20%.
“The Long Island City food court can be a haven without the hassles,” Kaye said.
“It might help those trucks tide themselves [over] in the short term,” Cook said.
But he added, “There’s a thrill in going and hunting down a food truck that you lose by having them all parked in a lot.”