NYCIDA Approves Assistance for New Fine Fare Supermarket in the Bronx
Project will result in a $4.8 Million Private Investment and the Creation of 80 New Jobs
Eleventh FRESH Supermarket Approved, and Fourth in the Bronx
Build NYC Approves First Tax-Exempt Non-Profit Bond Financing
New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA) today approved assistance for the renovation of a vacant 19,000-square-foot building to house a brand new Fine Fare supermarket at 801 East Gun Hill Road in the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx. The new supermarket will create 80 new jobs and represents a private investment of approximately $4.8 million. The supermarket is expected to break ground this spring and take approximately 12 months to construct. The project will generate nearly $9.4 million in tax revenue for the City over 25 years and is being assisted with a total of approximately $4.5 million in sales and real-estate tax exemptions over 25 years. The assistance was approved under the City’s Food Retail Expansion to Support Health (FRESH) program, which was created to increase access to food in underserved communities by incentivizing the establishment and retention of neighborhood supermarkets. Build NYC Resource Corporation (Build NYC) also held its board of directors meeting today, and voted to approve Manhattan College for approximately $26 million in triple-tax-exempt bonds.
“Today’s approval of the eleventh FRESH supermarket, the fourth in the Bronx, is further proof that this program is succeeding at creating healthy food options in underserved neighborhoods,” said NYCIDA Chairman Seth W. Pinsky. “The construction of the new Fine Fare supermarket will lead to 80 new jobs, induce a private investment of nearly $5 million, and, most importantly, provide area residents with expanded access to nutritional food.”
“I applaud the construction of a new Fine Fare supermarket at East Gun Hill Road and strongly believe this project is great for the community. This new supermarket will bring more healthy food choice options and quality jobs to an underserved Bronx neighborhood. I am proud to support this project, and I thank the New York City Industrial Development agency for helping provide food shopping opportunities through the FRESH Program, allowing individuals and families in our borough to find reasonably-priced products needed for a healthy diet,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“I am very excited to be constructing this Fine Fare supermarket, which will provide jobs and increase food access for the community,” said Rudy Fuertes, co-owner of East Gun Hill Road Food,LLC. “This project is a win-win for everybody, and I thank NYCIDA whose assistance is making the construction of this supermarket possible.”
The Fine Fare supermarket, to be operated by East Gun Hill Road Food,LLC, will become the fourth Bronx-based supermarket to have received assistance under the FRESH program. In total these supermarkets will have helped to create and retain 330 jobs, and provide nearly 126,000 square feet of new or renovated supermarket space.
Since its launch in 2009, 11 FRESH projects have now been approved. These 11 FRESH supermarkets are expected to provide nearly 340,000 square feet of new or renovated space, and are estimated to retain over 550 jobs and create nearly 300 new jobs, and represent an investment of approximately $40 million across the city.
The FRESH initiative was established by the City in 2009, in partnership with the City Council, and in response to a study by the Departments of City Planning and Health and Mental Hygiene 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 the underserved neighborhoods has been linked to higher rates of diet-related diseases, including diabetes and obesity. Supermarket owners and operators have found it difficult to finance new projects in New York City because of high land costs. The program incentivizes the creation and retention of supermarkets by providing zoning and financial incentives to eligible grocery store operators and developers.
The triple-tax-exempt bonds approved by Build NYC, will allow Manhattan College to refund previously issued bonds which carried a higher interest rate. The approval represents the first time in more than four years the City has been able to assist a non-profit with tax-exempt financing after a portion of the State law allowing industrial development agencies to financially assist non-profits expired in early 2008. Since then at least 16 New York City institutions have sought assistance from out-of-state and out-of-city bond issuers in order to finance and/or refinance projects totaling more than $489 million, according to an NYCEDC analysis.
“We at Manhattan College are most appreciative of the opportunity to issue tax-exempt bonds through New York City’s Build NYC," said Thomas Ryan ’69, vice president for finance and capital projects at the College. “As a non-profit College containing costs is very important. This approval provides a cost effective way to re-finance our bonds and reduce our interest expense.”