The FRESH Program in NYC is an incentive program to promote the development of Fresh Food Stores in certain areas of New York City. Where applicable a floor area bonus can be applied to the residential portion of mixed use buildings. Applicable buildings must have a minimum of 6,000 square feet of Fresh Food Store. The residential bonus may be equal to the amount of floor area provided in the store up to 20,000 square feet.
Food Retail Expansion To Support Health Program
FRESH Food Store NYC Zoning
To Qualify a fresh food store must meet the following requirements
- The store is in Use Group 6 of the New York City Zoning Resolution.
- At least 6,000 square feet of retail space (floor area and cellar space) is used for the sale of food and non food grocery products.
- At least 3,000 square or 50% whichever is more is for the sale of food products intended for home use.
- At least 2,000 square feet or 30% whichever is more is for the sale of perishable foods.
- At least 500 square feet is designated for fresh produce.
Fresh Food Store NYC Zoning Definition
The full zoning Definition of Fresh Food Store is quoted below.
A “FRESH food store” is a food store #use# as listed in Section 32-15 (Use Group 6), where at least 6,000 square feet of #floor area#, or #cellar# space utilized for retailing, is utilized for the sale of a general line of food and non-food grocery products, such as dairy, canned and frozen foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh and prepared meats, fish and poultry, intended for home preparation, consumption and utilization. Such retail space utilized for the sale of a general line of food and nonfood grocery products shall be distributed as follows:
(a) at least 3,000 square feet or 50 percent of such retail space, whichever is greater, shall be utilized for the sale
of a general line of food products intended for home preparation, consumption and utilization; and
(b) at least 2,000 square feet or 30 percent of such retail space, whichever is greater, shall be utilized for the sale
of perishable goods that shall include dairy, fresh produce, frozen foods and fresh meats, of which at least 500 square
feet of such retail space shall be designated for the sale of fresh produce.
A food store shall be certified as a #FRESH food store# by the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission, pursuant to Section 63-30 (CERTIFICATION FOR A FRESH FOOD STORE).
Where does the FRESH Program Apply?
The FRESH Program applies in certain areas on New York City. This is not applicable in all of New York City.
Fresh Program in M1 Zoning
In Applicable M1 Zoning Districts special Use Regulations Apply for Fresh Food Stores up to 30,000 square feet.
Zoning Bonus For FRESH Program
FRESH food store zoning incentive
For lots with mixed use buildings or zoning lots with multiple uses there are floor area bonuses applicable to the residential use when fresh food stores are developed. If non residential uses are permitted and floor area is equal to or less than that allowed for residential and for lots that have Quality Housing Buildings the following bonus may apply:
Additional residential floor area equal to that provided for fresh food stores up to 20,000 square feet may be developed on the property.
If non residential uses are permitted, and the floor area is greater than that allowed for residential use the following bonus may apply:
Additional residential floor area equal to that provided for fresh food stores up to 20,000 square feet as long as the build floor area does not exceed the maximum non residential floor area.
Read more about Mixed Use Building Floor Area Calculations.
Fresh Program Building Height Increase
Building height may be increase up to 15 if the first floor Fresh food store has a at least a ceiling height of 14 feet.
Certification Of a Fresh Flood Store
The Chairperson of the City Planning Commission must certify a fresh food store. An application must be submitted and approved to acquire a floor area bonus.
- Floor Plans by a New York State Registered Architect or Professional Engineer must be submitted.
- Drawings must show floor area for the store, and the use of the spaces, including compliance with all requirements for compliance as a fresh food store.
- Floor plans for residential areas where floor area bonus is requested must be submitted.
- Detailed drawings for the store sign must be provided.
- A signed lease from an individual or organization to operate the store is required.
- A legal commitment “deceleration of restrictions” must be filed that would be passed on from the owner to future owners restricting the use of the first floor retail space to Fresh Food Store as approved.
As an architect I study zoning very closely. NYC Zoning is complicated and quite involved. In this article we reviewed some of the basic Zoning Regulations with regards to the Fresh Program. This analysis does not assume to cover every possible issue and condition, but provide a general overview. This post does not substitute the NYC Zoning Resolution.
Thank you for reading our blog post on The NYC Fresh Program Zoning.
I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect you can contact us directly.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.