A fresh new alternative for food shopping is coming to East Gun Hill Road.
On Tuesday, March 13, The New York City Industrial Development Agency approved assistance for the renovation of a vacant 19,000-square-foot building, located at 801 E. Gun Hill Road to house a brand new Fine Fare supermarket.
The supermarket will create 80 new jobs.
The venture aslo represents a private investment of approximately $4.8 million. Calls to Fine Fare seeking a breakdown of that figure were not returned by press time. The store is expected to break ground sometime this spring and take about 12 months to construct.
According to the city’s IDA, the project will generate $9.4 million in tax revenue for the city for 25 years and is being assisted with a rough estimate of $4.5 million in sales and real-estate tax exemptions over the next 25 years.
The assistance for the project was approved under the City’s Food Retail Expansion to Support Health, also known as the FRESH program.
FRESH was created to increase access to food in underserved communities by giving incentives to the establishment and trying to retain neighborhood supermarkets.
The FRESH initiative was established citywide 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 that showed many low-income areas across the city need quality 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.
Since its launch in 2009, 11 FRESH projects have been approved.
“Today’s approval of the 11th FRESH supermarket, is further proof that this program is succeeding at creating healthy food options in under served neighborhoods,” NYCIDA chairman Seth Pinsky said. “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.”
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said he applauds the construction of the new supermarket and strongly believes the project will be great for the community.
“This new supermarket will bring more healthy food choice options and quality jobs to an underserved Bronx neighborhood,” Diaz said.
The Fine Fare supermarket, to be operated by East Gun Hill Road Food L.L.C., 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.