N.Y. Program to Create 15 New City Stores

A new city program offering zoning and financial incentives for developers to encourage supermarkets as part of their projects will help create 15 new grocery stores and spark upgrades at another 10 over the next decade, officials said.

NEW YORK — A new city program offering zoning and financial incentives for developers to encourage supermarkets as part of their projects will help create 15 new grocery stores and spark upgrades at another 10 over the next decade, officials said.

The program, called FRESH (Food Retail Expansion to Support Health), is the first in the nation to combine financial and zoning incentives to support food-store development in multiple sites, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who announced the program along with city and state officials here on Saturday.

Incentives under the program — which provide builders to construct larger units than otherwise permitted if they include a ground-level grocery store; reduced parking requirements and a special designation allowing supermarkets to build in light manufacturing districts — will be available in neighborhoods deemed as underserved according to a 2008 survey.

In addition, New York Gov. David Patterson introduced the Healthy Food/Healthy Communities Initiative, a $10 million revolving loan program to help finance new food markets in underserved markets throughout the state.

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