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FRESH promotes the establishment and expansion of neighborhood grocery stores in underserved communities by providing zoning and financial incentives to eligible grocery store operators and developers.
The FRESH program is an interagency effort, catalyzed by the “Going to Market Study”, which shows that many low-income areas across the city were underserved by full-line neighborhood grocery stores. The resulting lack of nutritious, affordable, and fresh food in these neighborhoods has been linked to higher rates of diet-related diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Since launching, a total of 23 FRESH projects have been approved - 6 of which have been approved for zoning benefits and 18 for financial benefits. 11 stores have completed their construction and are open to the public. These supermarkets are expected to provide approximately 660,000 square feet of new or renovated space, are estimated to retain more than 600 jobs and create over 1600 new jobs, and represent an investment of approximately $100 million across the City.
The FRESH program is open to grocery store operators renovating existing retail space or developers seeking to construct or renovate retail space that will be leased by a full-line grocery store operator. Stores that benefit from the program must be located in an eligible area and must provide:
FRESH benefits are available to stores within the designated FRESH-eligible areas, shown below. Tax incentives are discretionary and eligibility will be assessed on a per-case basis.
Please visit www.nyc.gov/fresh to see a list of current projects.
The following financial incentives are available to eligible grocery store operators and developers through the New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA).
All NYCIDA benefits are discretionary. Companies requesting assistance from the NYCIDA will be evaluated by NYCIDA staff individually to determine specific eligibility. All benefits are, by statute, subject to the approval of the NYCIDA’s Board of Directors. Companies must request NYCIDA assistance prior to entering into any property lease, acquisition or renovation contracts, unless such contracts are contingent upon NYCIDA assistance. To learn more about the NYCIDA, including the NYCIDA/FRESH the application process, please visit http://www.nycedc.com/nycida.
An exemption from the 8.875% sales tax on materials to construct, renovate or equip facilities.
A one-time deferral of mortgage recording tax relating to the project's financing, equal to 2.05% of the mortgage amount for mortgages of $500,000 or less, and 2.80% for mortgages greater than $500,000.
The following zoning incentives are available to eligible grocery store developers through the New York City Department of City Planning:
1 additional square foot of floor area in mixed residential development and commercial buildings for every square foot provided for a grocery store, up to a 20,000 square foot limit.
Grocery stores up to 30,000 square feet permitted in M1 districts.
Grocery store operators and developers can independently access energy efficiency benefits through programs offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Such programs include:
NYC Business Acceleration (NYCBA) is a free service to help entrepreneurs and business owners navigate licenses and permits required to open their establishments. NYCBA will make it easier and faster for you to start, operate or expand your business. Client Managers are available to provide one-on-one support and guidance to help businesses comply with city requirements and help accelerate your launch. Professionals from multiple City agencies are located at NYCBA to enable streamlined plan examination, consultations, and inspections. NYCBA can also coordinate services and inspections from other agencies. For more information about NYCBA please visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/nbat.