Program Overview & Benefits:
The FRESH zoning incentive allows an increase of up to 20,000 sq. ft. of Residential Floor Area for developments that are utilizing the 1st floor of retail space primarily for the sale of food products. The increase is calculated on a 1:1 ratio; every sq. ft. of floor area in the supermarket results in a sq. ft. of additional Residential Floor Area. The retail space is also subject to reduced parking requirements depending on the size of the project and the district it is located in. A Certification from the Department of City Planning is required in order to construct the additional floor area.
There are new restrictions that are being implemented to prevent the saturation of the FRESH supermarkets that concentrate certain areas. Such saturation could potentially run competitors out of business and subsequently have developments fall out of compliance. Accordingly, the total sum of the increase FRESH floor area within a half mile radius should not exceed 40,000 sq. ft. Reach out to us today to find out the amount of floor area that is still available to be increased in your proposed development and ensure the utmost benefits for your project!
The retail space must be operated by a grocery store permanently or for the life of the benefits. In rare scenarios would the Department issue a waiver if the space has been vacated for a longer period and is unable to be re-occupied. The process of obtaining the Certification from the Department may take between 6-9 month and should commence timely accordingly. If an additional Certification form the Department is required to obtain the height bonus to accommodate the additional floor area, the process may take additional time and resources. The Community Board should be notified at least 45 days prior to the DCP’s issuance of its Certification. Meetings are held to discuss and propose the upcoming development.
From the design through obtaining the necessary certification from the Department of City Planning, we work in collaboration with the development team to obtain the final approvals expeditiously. Reach out to us for more information and to start the process!