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Program Description:
A Department of City Planning study shows that many low-income neighborhoods across the city are
underserved by neighborhood grocery stores. The resulting lack of nutritious, affordable fresh food in
these neighborhoods has been linked to higher rates of diet-related diseases, including diabetes and
The Neighborhood Grocery Store Zoning Incentive Pilot Program seeks to incentivize the establishment
of neighborhood grocery stores in low-income and underserved communities. When a full-line grocery
store is included in a new building or expansion or conversion of an existing building, the program offers
additional development opportunity in the form of a floor area exemption in mixed use buildings, reduces
parking requirements and allows larger stores to locate as-of-right in light manufacturing areas.
Pilot Program Boundaries:
Please see the following URL to see the provisional boundaries of the program area:
Definition of a Full-line Grocery Stores:
A store whose primary business is the sale of a general line of food products intended for home
preparation and consumption, including a healthful selection of fresh fruits and vegetables; fresh and
prepared meats, fish, and poultry; canned and frozen foods; dairy; and nonfood grocery products, upon a
finding that:
the selling area occupies a minimum of 5,000 sq. ft.;

(2) a minimum of 30 percent of the selling area of the store is devoted to the sale of perishable products
that may include dairy; fresh produce; fresh meats, poultry, and fish; and frozen foods; and
(3) fresh produce occupies at a minimum 500 sq. ft. of selling area.
Program Benefits:
Floor Area Exemption
One additional square foot of development would be allowed for every square foot provided for a grocery
store up to 20,000 sq. ft.
Reduction in Required Parking:
Under the Proposed Reduction in Required Parking:

In Commercial districts that permit residential buildings with ground floor retail, only stores over 40,000
sq. ft would be required to provide parking

In other commercial and Light Manufacturing districts, the first 15,000 sq ft. of grocery store would be
exempted from providing any parking

15,000 sq. ft. store at 760 Melrose Avenue in the Bronx would provide approximately 15 additional units

9,000 sq. ft. store at 1791 Walton Avenue in the Bronx would provide approximately 9 additional units
Confidential Draft: February 11, 2009
For example, if built today:
Modified Light Manufacturing Use Regulations

Permit grocery stores as-of-right up to 30,000 sq. ft. from 10,000 sq. ft. in all M1 districts within targeted

Saves 18 months and expense of navigating the CEQR & ULURP process and provides certainty as to
whether the use is permitted.

Certification Process:
Grocery Stores Receiving any Zoning Incentives

All grocery stores participating in program must be certified by City Planning

All building owners must demonstrate a commitment to continual occupancy by a grocery store through a
long-term lease

Grocery Stores Receiving Floor Area Exemption

The building owner must record a restrictive declaration on the exempted grocery store area on the
property’s deed. This will limit the exempted area for a grocery store’s use only in perpetuity.

Issuance of a temporary C of O is withheld on an amount of space equal to the exempted floor area until
the grocery store is substantially completed

A grace period for vacated exempted space will be provided and the new grocery store must be certified
by City Planning

34,000 sq. ft. Western Beef at 44 Empire Blvd in Brooklyn requires 113 spaces. Under proposal it would only require 63

10,500 sq. ft. Associated at 802 Manhattan Ave in Brooklyn requires 35 spaces. Under proposal it would require none

Associated’s Webster Ave. store is an example of a 15,000 sq. ft. grocery store that would be permitted as-of-right under the
proposal but would need a special permit if built today.