Fresh Direct

Fresh Direct, which has received over $2 million in subsidies for its Queens facility, threatened to move its operations to New Jersey unless it receives an incentive pacakge for a South Bronx location.  City, State and Bronx officials have proposed a subsidy package worth over $100 million. Residents of the South Bronx are responding to the proposed subsidies. A diverse coalition, South Bronx Unite - Stop Fresh Direct  is actively working to block Fresh Direct's potential move to their neighborhood.

Fresh Direct, which is often criticized for its low wages, has been approved for an $81 million subsidy package through the New York City Industrial Development Agency to build a new facility at Harlem River Yards in The Bronx (IDA materials are herehere and here). The firm is expected to recieve approximatley $40 million more in capital grants, tax credits and loans from New York State and the Bronx Borough President and Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.

Confused about proposed subsidies to the online grocer? You're not alone.  Our breakdown is here.

Read GJNY's 10 Reasons Why You Should Sour on Fresh Direct's Proposed Subsidies for Expanding at Harlem River Yards in the Bronx  

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Residents, South Bronx Unite! file lawsuit against Fresh Direct and public entities for failing to conduct proper environmental assessment: June 12, 2012

In an effort to stop Fresh Direct from moving to the Harlem River Yards in the South Bronx, area residents and members of South Bronx Unite filed a lawsuit in The Bronx stating that the on-line grocer and various city and state agencies failed to conduct a throrough environmental assesment. Read the amended petition

Council Memebers question Harlem River Rail Yard lease (proposed Fresh Direct location): May 7, 2012 

City Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Maria Carmen del Arroyo urge State Department of Transportation Commissioner to re-evaluate the lease for the proposed site for Fresh Direct's new facility. Concerns include potentially heavy truck traffic in an increasingly residential neighborhood with notoriously high asthma rates. Read the letter

IDA Board of Directors preliminary vote: February 14, 2012  

The IDA Board of Directors voted to approve the project with one dissenting vote from the New York City Comptroller's Office.  As a result of pressure from the community, immediatley after the vote, the Bronx Borough President's Office released a Memorandum of Understanding with Fresh Direct to address communtiy concerns. Read the board book from the meeting (pages 50-70 for Fresh Direct materials). 

South Bronx Residents Respond: February 13, 2012

Community group, South Bronx Unite - Stop Fresh Direct releases comments in advance of a press conference regarding the upcoming vote on city subsidies 

Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito asks members of the IDA Board to delay its vote on proposed subsidies for Fresh Direct, to allow more time for community input.

IDA Public Hearing: February 9, 2012

The New York City Industrial Development Agency held its monthly public hearing: Good Jobs New York joined community members, enviornmental advocates and transportation experts to testifiy against proposed benefits to for Fresh Direct to relocate in the South Bronx. See a sampling of  testimony:

Bronx Council for Environmental Quality

Charles Komanoff, analysis of traffic delays

Friends of Brook Park

Good Jobs New York

Harlem River Working Group

New York City Coalition Against Hunger

The POINT Community Development Corporation

Tri-State Transportation Campaign 

Press release announcing Fresh Direct proposal: February 7, 2012

New York City , State and Bronx officials announce a susbsidy package of approximately $120 million just two days prior to the public hearing vote by the IDA board. The lack of public process ignited a groundswell of opposition from local residents and community groups.

News highlights:

Daily News, Opponents of FreshDirect move to South Bronx add to lawsuit against government-subsidized project, September 10, 2012

Ecosalon, Behind the Label: Investigating FreshDirect's local commitment, August 29, 2012

Crain's New York Business, FreshDirect pushes online food stamp shopping, July 11, 2012

BronxTalk, Host Gary Axelbank discusses the facts about Fresh Direct with guests, June 18, 2012

Village Voice, South Bronxites Sue FreshDirect, City For Ducking Asthma Risk Study, June 13, 2012

The Riverdale Press, point of view, FreshDirect: Stay out, June 13, 2012

Mott Haven Herald, Mott Haven residents sue FreshDirect, June 13, 2012

WNYC, Community Activists Sue to Stop Fresh Direct from Moving In, June 12, 2012

Daily News, FreshDirect deal is sour, sez lawsuit, June 12, 2012

The Riverdale Press point of view, Boycott Fresh Direct, June 6, 2012

DNA Info, City Strikes a Deal for Bronx Bridge to Randall's Island, May 24, 2012

Haven on the Harlem: The South Bronx Struggles to Reclaim a River (interactive news feature of Mott Haven Herald): Balancing Act Between Jobs and Green Space, May 14, 2012

Daily News, Fresh Direct's rotten Bronx deal, May 13, 2012

Daily News, Two City Council members ask state to delay South Bronx deal for FreshDirect pending property audit , May 9, 2012

Daily News, The battle over FreshDirect and the Hunts Point Market has cast the issue of government assistance into sharp focus, April 29, 2012

The Riverdale Press, The Bronx is burning ... from fossil fuel, March 28, 2012

Mott Haven Herald, FreshDirect protesters take their beef to Manhattan, March 22, 2012

Bronx Matters, Brooklynites Share Development Fight Lessons with Boogie Down Brethren, March 12, 2012

Crain's New York Business, [also re-printed in the blog of The New SchoolAre subsidies to keep firms in NY worth it?, March 4, 2012

Alternet, How FreshDirect Delivers Misery Along With Your Groceries--And How Workers and the Community are Fighting Back, March 4, 2012

WNYC, In Fresh Direct Move to the Bronx, Food Delivery to Borough Not a Priority, February 27, 2012

The New York Times, For Fresh Direct, an Old-Fashioned Handout, February 23, 2012

Bronx Times, Mott Haven residents rally over relocation of Fresh Direct headquarters, February 20, 2012

The New York Times, In Bronx, FreshDirect and Land of Great Promises, February 20, 2012

The Riverdale Press, Under the wire, February 15, 2012

The Mott Haven Herald, City approves FreshDirect subsidies, February 14, 2012

The New York Times, Criticism of FreshDirect Deal Is Off Base, City Officials Say, February 14, 2012

Village Voice, liveblog of IDA Board Meeting, February 14, 2012

Crain's New York, Opposition to FreshDirect subsidy deal mounts, February 13, 2012

New York Post: Column, February 10, 2012

Queens Courier, Is Fresh Direct moving from L.I.C.? January 18, 2012

New York Daily News, Bronx, New Jersey vying for new Fresh Direct headquarters, January 16, 2012

The New York Times, New Jersey Tries to Lure Fresh Direct From Queens, January 10, 2012

 

Related Public Documents

Materials released in advance of the IDA public hearing:

 

Power Point presentation given at February 14, 2012 IDA Board meeting; see pages 17-22 for the section presenting the Fresh Direct project. 

IDA Board Book February 2012; see pages 50-70 for materials pertinent to the Fresh Direct deal.

Memorandum of Understanding with Bronx Borough President, Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, and Fresh Direct; February 2012

1994 New York State Department of Transportation Record of Decision on the use of Harlem River Yards

1999 Lease Agreement between the NYC Industrial Development Agency and Fresh Direct for the lease of the firm's current property in Queens

Final Environmental Assessment Form for Fresh Direct, December 2011 (coming soon)

Materials submitted on behalf of Fresh Direct to NJ Economic Development Authority. All materials submitted by consulting firm BLS:

 

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