The Real Deal New York

Fresh Direct scales back plans for new Bronx HQ

December 14, 2012 05:30PM

Faced with a lawsuit and setback by Hurricane Sandy, the online grocery store, FreshDirect, is scaling back its plans for its new Bronx facility by approximately three acres to approximately nine-acres, Crain’s reported. FreshDirect is being sued by the community group, South Bronx Unite, which opposes the company’s plan to relocate its headquarters from Long Island City to the South Bronx, claiming that a parking lot violates land use and other regulations.

“FreshDirect either didn’t know that there were land use restrictions there or they hoped no one would notice,” Gavin Kearney, of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, said. “Based on a cursory look at their papers it looks like they are conceding the point in taking out the three acres.”

The community group also objects to introducing more trucks into an already heavily industrial area.

The lawsuit also comes after competitor John Catsimatidis, publicly objected to the city’s plan to give FreshDirect a $127 million subsidy package for moving from Queens to the Bronx. 

“We are now going to incorporate our trucking operations into the parcel of land that will house our main facility,” the company said in a statement. “This will have the benefit of addressing a number of concerns expressed by residents arising from the proximity of our trucks.”

The move would add approximately 1,000 new jobs mostly in the Bronx. [Crain’s] –Christopher Cameron