Despite Community Opposition, NYC Industrial Development Agency Votes to Allow Fresh Direct Relocation to the South Bronx

This morning, the New York City Economic Development Commission’s Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA) board of directors approved a motion that allows Fresh Direct to relocate from its current location in Queens to Harlem River Yards in the South Bronx. In June, a Bronx Supreme Court judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by South Bronx Unite against the City, but as an audience member at this morning’s meeting said, “Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right.”

As MTR noted last month, the South Bronx suffers from a disproportionate amount of truck traffic evidenced by the area’s high asthma rate and high pedestrian crash and fatality rates in the Hunts Point section in particular. Little relief has come to the area, and elected officials supported the Fresh Direct relocation without finding solutions to the influx of more truck traffic. Fresh Direct is to be sited on one of the city’s best intermodal rail facilities, but there was hardly any push from electeds to increase the company’s rail use, which would help mitigate pollution and congestion in the area. The City’s recently-released recommendations in the Sheridan -Hunts Point Land Use and Transportation Study are a step in the right direction, but without City leaders pushing New York State to start the environmental impact study for the project, South Bronx residents will be stuck with more of the same.

Is there an opportunity in the wake of this short-sighted Fresh Direct plan? Let’s see what our elected officials do about it.

9 Comments on "Despite Community Opposition, NYC Industrial Development Agency Votes to Allow Fresh Direct Relocation to the South Bronx"

  1. Boycott fresh direct!

  2. Boycott fresh direct!

  3. Boycott Fresh Direct!

  4. Monxo Lopez | July 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm |

    Boycott Fresh Direct!

  5. Boycott Fresh Direct!!!

  6. Larry Littlefield | July 24, 2013 at 9:46 am |

    Question — does the Fresh Direct location limit the future use of the yard for intermodal, trailer on flatcar transportation?

    I’ve never seen a map to show where it is located. You’d probably need an area 200 feet wide by at least 3/4 mile to accomodate the types of facilities that are being built around the country right now.

  7. Larry Littlefield | July 24, 2013 at 9:56 am |

    Let me say further that this Fresh Direct deal shows everything that is wrong with NY economic development.

    When it was an innovative entreprenuerial young company struggling to get on its feet, the city was probably indifferent at best and hostile at worst. But now that it is richer and more powerful, the city is throwing subsidies at it at the expense of competitors.

    There was a move away from this, and more support for entreprenuership, late in the Bloomberg Administration. That move should be completed. This kind of deal — a big subsidy for an established company — is bad for the city’s economy and should never happen again.

    Moreover, I can’t see how this makes sense for the company. Does it really want all its trucks going to places like Brooklyn and New Jersey to come from the Bronx, going over congested bridges and tunnels? Shouldn’t it have stayed in LIC and added locations to grow? What if a competitor finds it can save labor, fuel and toll costs by having smaller, multiple warehouses? Will the city have to subsidize Fresh Direct even more to protect its investment?

    Disband the IDA.

  8. Lukas Herbert | August 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm |

    The South Bronx has so much potential, but it is literally being held back by the elected officials who represent it, thanks to bad deals like this, and other recent botched deals.

    You can’t beat the South Bronx in terms of bad air quality. (Unless you go to a foreign country like China). Personally, I still own an apartment there, but I moved as soon as my wife got pregnant. Why expose a child to bad air quality? If Bronx and City leaders are serious about attracting and retaining middle class residents to this area, they would do well to think about the impacts of their decisions. People with enough mobility to choose where they live, may see deals like this as a reason to move elsewhere….and the south Bronx could remain the nations #1 poorest Congressional District for a long time to come….only inhabited by folks who can’t afford to live anywhere else.

    Thanks for nothing Bronx politicians! You suck.

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