The Real Deal New York

FreshDirect wins court case aiding its South Bronx push

Community activists had tried to block the online grocer's move
March 29, 2014 01:00PM

 The online grocer FreshDirect won a big victory in court last week when state appellate court judges in Manhattan tossed out a lawsuit meant to stop it from moving to the South Bronx.

Late last year, a community organization known as South Bronx Unite filed an appeal claiming that the city did not conduct an adequate environmental review of the site where FreshDirect plans to relocate, according to the New York Daily News.

“We’re disappointed, but not disheartened,” said South Bronx Unite member Mychal Johnson. “Today, the courts told us that a 21 year old environmental impact statement is good enough for the people of the South Bronx, who suffer asthma hospitalization rates 21 times that of other New York City neighborhoods. We say it is not.”

The lawsuit claimed that the FreshDirect relocation would increase traffic, and with it, asthma in Port Morris and neighboring Mott Haven. It also argued that FreshDirect inappropriately received more than $120 million in public subsidies.

“The courts have now said on multiple occasions that we can move forward with our move to the Bronx,” FreshDirect Co-Founder and CEO Jason Ackerman said in a statement. “Our focus now turns to building our facility and making good on the promise of creating jobs and economic activity in the Bronx.” [NYDN]Christopher Cameron