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Image courtesy of DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

Read an excellent write up by Alice Speri of DNAinfo on the major setback FreshDirect received.

In the article she writes,

Securing the funding would require the unanimous approval of the New York Empowerment Zone Board, which provides incentives for private investors revitalizing poor communities. FreshDirect removed its application for funding from the board’s agenda after Serrano made clear Wednesday that he would vote against it.

“I, along with several other elected officials and many community residents, have had deep misgivings about this project because of its impact on the health of Bronx residents,” the Bronx congressman said in a statement following the board meeting. “My understanding is that this project was removed from the agenda in light of my concerns.”

Speri goes on to write:

FreshDirect has tried to ease critics’ concerns by touting its green initiatives and detailing potential benefits for The Bronx, such as easier access to healthy food and new jobs. But critics said those jobs — mostly low-wage and non-unionized — would only reinforce the cycle of poverty in the neighborhood.

Mayor-elect de Blasio has criticized the proposed subsidies for FreshDirect as a “mistake” and opponents hope action by Serrano and other public officials will put the rest of the benefits package up for reevaluation.

“They are trying to rush this approval through before the new year,” Johnson said. “We’re saying, hold off on giving them any agreement or subsidy until the new mayor-elect comes in. Slow down, let’s look at how this project affects our community.”

To read the article in its entirety, click below:

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20131220/port-morris/freshdirects-bronx-move-hits-snag-as-congressman-opposes-35m-subsidy

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