Last week, online grocer FreshDirect won a big victory when appellate court judges tossed out a lawsuit that would have kept the company from moving to South Bronx. South Bronx United filed an appeal about a year ago claiming the city did not conduct an adequate environmental review of the site where FreshDirect plans to relocate.
“We’re disappointed, but not disheartened,” said South Bronx Unite member Mychal Johnson. “Today, the courts told us that a 21 year old environmental impact statement is good enough for the people of the South Bronx, who suffer asthma hospitalization rates 21 times that of other New York City neighborhoods. We say it is not.”
The suit against FreshDirect claimed that the relocation would increase traffic and with it, asthma in Port Morris and neighboring Mott Haven. The argument also stated the company had inappropriately received more than $120 million in public subsidies. FreshDirect had threatened to take its operations to New Jersey if it didn’t receive incentives to keep the company in New York.
“The courts have now said on multiple occasions that we can move forward with our move to the Bronx,” FreshDirect Co-Founder and CEO Jason Ackerman said in a statement. “Our focus now turns to building our facility and making good on the promise of creating jobs and economic activity in the Bronx.”