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A Food Truck Congregation for the World Financial Center

The New York Times – February 3, 2012

By Glenn Collins

And now, the food-truck court at ground zero.

On Monday, food trucks will congregate for the first time on North End Avenue by the Hudson River to the west of 4 World Financial Center, following three months of negotiations with the Battery Park City Authority and Brookfield Office Properties, owner of the center.

“We are really excited to find a safe place to vend where we can contribute to the local community,” said David Weber, president of the New York City Food Truck Association. The group will have the responsibility of coordinating a rotating roster of 21 trucks at the site — to be called the World Financial Center Food Truck Court — from Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On Monday, Kimchi Taco Truck, Gorilla Cheese NYC, Taim Mobile and Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream are to be the first four trucks. They will be parked on the avenue adjacent to the waterfront, to the north of the yacht basin, on the pedestrian route to the ferry terminal. From the east, it will be accessible from Vesey Street.

The association established its first food-truck court at an empty lot in Long Island City, Queens, last year. Now, its new riverside court is expected to attract five trucks a day from a list including the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck, the Treats Truck, Mexicue and the Red Hook Lobster Pound.

Mr. Weber said the truck operators appreciated having a stable, legal location, since the trucks often compete for street spots with other vendors, and are sometimes ticketed, or required to move, by the police.

David Cheikin, Brookfield’s vice president of leasing, said that the new court would offer “a new type of dining experience to Lower Manhattan.”

The association will be paying Brookfield a license fee for the lunch court until 2013. “It’s a fair rent for food trucks,” Mr. Weber said, declining to specify the fee.

The food court is intended “for people in offices, local workers and tourists,” Mr. Weber said, adding: “Our goal is to have as much variety there as possible.”