The battle between Bronx job growth and pollution, especially in Hunts Point, erupted again as another big tenant announced a move into the sprawling Hunts Point Market.
The city’s Economic Development Corp. announced The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc., a leading New York City specialty food service distributor, has agreed to a long-term lease for up to 35 years for the entire 234,000 or so square feet of space at 200-240 Food Center Drive, already home to some 800 businesses and over 13,000 employees.
Dairyland USA Corporation, a subsidiary of The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc., already leases about 55,000 square feet there. The new lease also means Dairyland, an important city employer for over 26 years, will remain.
Dairyland employs about 313 people at two separate facilities in the Bronx. About 153 work at the 200-240 Food Center Drive site, and the other 160 are at 1300 Viele Avenue.
Under the new lease, Dairyland will consolidate all of its existing operations at 200-240 Food Center Drive, adding another 100 jobs over the next five years, officials said. The Chefs’ Warehouse will invest $15 million to $20 million in the project.
But some concerned Bronxites, some already suing in court over the major move of Fresh Direct into the Harlem Rail Yards to the south, fear the move at the Hunts Point Market will only bring more air polluting truck traffic into south Bronx neighborhoods already dealing with high asthma and other respiratory health problem rates.
The city estimates some 12,000 diesel trucks rumble through Hunts Point and local roads leading to it daily.
But Seth Pinsky, president of the City Economic Development Corporation called The Chefs’ Warehouse long-term commitment to Hunts Point “another vote of confidence in the south Bronx, helping to cement its status as a world-class food distribution hub.”
The Chefs’ Warehouse (www.chefswarehouse.com) is a premier distributor of specialty food products in the United States focused on serving chefs who own and/or operate “some of the nation’s leading menu-driven independent restaurants, fine dining establishments, country clubs, hotels, caterers, culinary schools and specialty food stores.”
It carries and distributes more than 16,700 products to more than 9,800 customer locations throughout the United States.
“The new facility will provide us with more capacity to serve our current customers and room to grow as we continue to expand our client base and culinary offerings,” said Chris Pappas, Chefs’ Warehouse chairman and chief executive officer.