City and Local Elected Officials Open the First Supermarket Built Using Targeted City Incentives to Bring Fresh Food to Underserved Neighborhoods
City and local elected officials, as well as representatives from Western Beef, today officially opened the new Western Beef in the South Bronx, the first supermarket to open under the City’s Food Retail Expansion to Support Health (FRESH) program. Launched in 2009, the FRESH program is increasing access to food in underserved communities by incentivizing the establishment and retention of neighborhood grocery stores. The brand new Western Beef supermarket will offer a large selection of fresh food for residents of the South Bronx, with over 35,000 square feet of grocery store space, including an on-premises bakery, deli, 3,000-square-foot customer walk-in meat cooler, and a produce department of over 3,000 square feet. With approximately $11.5 million spent to construct the store and over 120 permanent jobs, the new supermarket will further the City’s goal of generating economic investment and job creation in the South Bronx. Construction of the store was assisted by approximately $5.6 million in real estate and sales tax exemptions approved by the New York City Industrial Development Agency in February 2010. “The opening of this Western Beef supermarket is a significant milestone in the City’s efforts to increase access to affordable, fresh foods across the five boroughs,” said New York City Economic Development President Seth W. Pinsky. “Thanks to the dedication of our partners in government, the FRESH program will help New Yorkers live longer, healthier lives, while also creating new jobs and economic investment in communities throughout the City.” “Buying fresh, quality foods just got easier in New York City’s underserved neighborhoods,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “The City’s comprehensive food policy is making good on its promise to bring affordable foods, including fruits and vegetables, to New York City’s food deserts, and I’m thrilled that Western Beef has joined this important effort. The FRESH program is one of the many ways the City is working to improve the health of New Yorkers by identifying the needs of residents and finding the means to fulfill them.” “Western Beef’s slogan is ‘we know the neighborhood’ and we’re honored to give New Yorkers their first FRESH program supermarket,” said Western Beef CEO Patrick DeIorio. “It is a reflection of our strong commitment to serve the communities in which we operate.” “I am thrilled by the continuing success of the FRESH program,” said City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden. “Access to affordable fresh produce is critical to the health of the city, and to the East Tremont neighborhood in the Bronx. I look forward to seeing more FRESH food stores open throughout the five boroughs to eliminate food deserts, combat obesity and diabetes and promote healthy lifestyles for all New Yorkers.” "Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are epidemic in New York City,” said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “Increasing access to healthy food is critical to addressing these chronic diseases. Studies show that improved access to supermarkets is associated with increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, a rise in healthy eating and less obesity. The Health Department is pleased to work in concert with the City’s Economic Development Corporation, City Planning, the Mayor's Office and City Council, on FRESH incentives that support more supermarkets in our most underserved neighborhoods." "Access to quality and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables in New York City's underserved communities is essential to preventing obesity, heart disease, and other chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes,” said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav R. Shah. “The opening of the first FRESH supermarket will positively impact the lives, nutrition, and health of the South Bronx Community. The New York State Department of Health is pleased to collaborate with the New York City agencies who made today's supermarket opening possible. These collaborative efforts are a model for other cities and states that aim to improve access to healthy and affordable food." “Today’s opening shows just how important the FRESH program is to people in underserved areas,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “This new supermarket will not only provide a host of healthy, fresh food options to neighborhood residents, it will bring new jobs to the Bronx. This is a win-win for everyone involved, and I look forward to the continued success of the FRESH program.” “Access to fresh produce should not be harder than purchasing fast food but it has become that way, especially for fast paced New Yorkers,” said Councilmember Joel Rivera. “The current expansion of Western Beef and the roll out of the FRESH program is very exciting to the East Tremont area and the Bronx offering many families more affordable healthy quality food and produce selections. Through this expansion the additional economic benefit will be the creation of much needed jobs to the community.” “By providing access to healthy foods and fresh produce, we can break down the barriers that currently make it difficult for Bronxites to lead healthier lives,” said Senator Gustavo Rivera. “That is why I am so excited to welcome Western Beef supermarket and the FRESH program to the Bronx and in particular to the community I represent in East Tremont. I look forward to working with Western Beef to address health disparities in the Bronx and to promote healthy living.” The Western Beef supermarket is located at 2050 Webster Ave. in the East Tremont section of the Bronx. In addition to the 35,000 square feet of supermarket space, the store has over 20,000 square feet of storage space and 33,000 square feet of parking. As part of the construction, Western Beef installed energy efficient equipment and HVAC systems, and used energy efficient building materials to reduce energy consumption. The FRESH initiative was established by the City in 2009, in partnership with the City Council, in response to a study conducted for the Mayor's Food Policy Task Force which showed that many low-income areas across the city are underserved by neighborhood grocery stores. The program incentivizes the creation and retention of supermarkets by providing zoning and financial incentives to eligible grocery store operators and developers. The resulting lack of nutritious, affordable, fresh food in the underserved neighborhoods has been linked to higher rates of diet-related diseases, including diabetes, and obesity. For more information on FRESH.
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.
The New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA) is administered by the New York City Economic Development Corporation and provides financing assistance to businesses, including small industrial and manufacturing companies and not-for-profit organizations. NYCIDA is a conduit agency that issues tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds to assist eligible commercial, industrial, not-for-profit and other qualified entities to finance expansion opportunities. NYCIDA also offers qualified companies abatements on sales, real estate and mortgage taxes. To request information and details on NYCIDA programs, call (212) 312-3600 or e-mail [email protected].