Financing & Incentives

Food Retail Expansion to Support Health (FRESH)

Access to affordable, quality food is an essential component of building strong neighborhoods. The FRESH program promotes the establishment and expansion of grocery stores in underserved communities by lowering the costs of owning, developing, and renovating retail space.

Financial Incentives

FRESH financial incentives are 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.

Real Estate Tax

  • Building Taxes: Building taxes may be stabilized at pre-improvement real estate tax amounts for up to 25 years (with benefits phasing out at not more than 20% per year, starting in year 21)
  • Land Taxes: Land taxes may be fully abated for up to 25 years (with benefits phasing out at not more than 20% per year, starting in year 21)

Sales Tax

  • The 8.875% city and state sales tax may be waived on materials used to construct, renovate, or equip facilities

Mortgage Recording

  • The mortgage recording tax applicable to a project mortgage may be reduced from 2.8% to 0.3%, lowering upfront costs

Application Considerations

All benefits, including FRESH, are discretionary and NYCIDA will assess the need for financial assistance and the economic impact of the proposed project. Stores that benefit from the program must be located in an eligible area (see below map) and must provide:

  • A minimum of 5,000 square feet of retail space for a general line of food and nonfood grocery products intended for home preparation, consumption, and utilization
  • At least 50% of retail space for a general line of food products intended for home preparation, consumption, and utilization
  • At least 30% of retail space for perishable goods that may include dairy, fresh produce, fresh meats, poultry, fish, and frozen foods; and
  • At least 500 square feet of retail space for fresh produce.

Additional factors considered by NYCIDA include (without limitation):

  • Size of capital investment
  • Jobs retained and/or created, average wages and benefits
  • Neighborhood
  • Overall financial picture of applicant(s)
  • For developer projects, tenanting strategy and timeline
  • Environmental review

FRESH-Eligible Areas

FRESH benefits are available to stores within the designated FRESH-eligible areas, shown below.

FRESH Eligibility Map 2018

Please visit https://zola.planning.nyc.gov/about#9.72/40.7125/-73.733 to search for a specific location.

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The FRESH program is administered by the New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA) and the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP), with support from the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene and Mayor’s Office of Food Policy.

Since launching, over 20 projects have been approved and more than half have completed their construction and are open to the public. These supermarkets are expected to provide approximately 730,000 square feet of new or renovated space, are estimated to retain more than 600 jobs and create over nearly 1,000 new jobs, and represent an investment of approximately $100 million across the city.

All NYCIDA benefits are discretionary and companies must request NYCIDA assistance prior to entering into any property lease, acquisition, or renovation contract unless such contracts are contingent upon NYCIDA assistance.

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