Commercial Expansion Program
Real estate tax reductions for commercial or industrial leases in targeted areas of the City.
FRESH, an initiative of Mayor Bloomberg’s Five-Borough Economic Opportunity Plan, promotes the establishment and retention of neighborhood grocery stores in underserved communities by providing zoning and financial incentives to eligible grocery store operators and developers.
The FRESH initiative comes as a response to a study conducted for the Mayor's Food Policy Taskforce by the New York Departments of Health and City Planning and the New York City Economic Development Corporation which showed that many low-income areas across the city are underserved by neighborhood grocery stores. The resulting lack of nutritious, affordable, fresh food in these neighborhoods has been linked to higher rates of diet-related diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Cactus Holdings, d/b/a Western Beef, was the first company to receive incentives through the FRESH program. Western Beef closed on a $5.5 million NYCIDA industrial incentive transaction on March 31, 2010. The project was financed by a New Markets Tax Credit loan through Capital One and will enable Western Beef to purchase and renovate an approximately 65,000 square foot facility that will house a new Western Beef supermarket and warehouse facility in the Tremont section of the Bronx. Total project costs are $11.45 million. Renovations and a reconfiguration of the existing facility are anticipated to be complete in nine months, and employment at the facility will ramp up to approximately 125 full-time equivalent employees.
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 meet the following criteria:
Stores that benefit from the program must fall within designated FRESH-eligible areas, shown below.
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. Learn more about the Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA).
An exemption from the 8.875 percent sales tax on materials to construct, renovate or equip facilities.
A deferral of mortgage recording tax relating to the project's financing, equal to 2.05 percent of the mortgage amount for mortgages of $500,000 or less, and 2.80 percent 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.
One 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 in underserved communities may be eligible to apply for loan and grant financing for capital costs including real estate acquisition, construction, leasehold improvements, and equipment through the New York Healthy Food & Healthy Communities (HFHC) Fund.
The HFHC Fund is a public-private partnership established to promote healthy communities statewide and is managed by The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) along with The Food Trust. For more information about the fund please visit www.liifund.org/nyhealthyfood.
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:
Please visit www.nyc.gov/fresh to see a detailed, searchable map of the FRESH program areas, as well as a list of current projects. For additional program details, eligibility requirements, and application information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.