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Press Release

NYCEDC Opens Kensington Met Fresh Supermarket with Support from City’s FRESH Tax Benefits

May 31 2024
Executives and employees participating in a ribbon-cutting event at a Kensington Met Fresh Supermarket.

Food Retail Expansion to Support Health (FRESH) Program Brings Healthy and Affordable Food Options to Communities

Since 2009 Launch, FRESH has Delivered 22 Finished Projects; Providing New Yorkers Across All Five Boroughs with Access to Fresh Food Options

BROOKLYN, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the opening of Met Fresh Kensington, a 7,043 square foot minority-and-women-owned local supermarket that will provide the community with healthy and fresh food options. The supermarket received tax benefits through the New York City Industrial Development Agency’s (NYCIDA) Food Retail Expansion to Support Health (FRESH) program in late 2023.

The NYCIDA FRESH program aims to bring healthy, fresh, and diverse food options to communities by lowering the costs of owning, leasing, developing, and renovating supermarket retail space. Since launching in 2009, 28 projects have been approved for FRESH tax incentives across the five boroughs, 22 of which have completed construction and are open to the public, and more are currently under construction. These supermarkets represent over one million square feet of new or renovated space, creating over 1,500 new jobs, retaining more than 600 jobs, and an investment of $200 million into New York City’s economy.

“Mayor Adams and EDC are thrilled that the FRESH program is providing the opportunity for a minority and woman-owned entrepreneur to bring greater access to groceries and fresh produce to the neighborhood,” said NYCEDC President & CEO Andrew Kimball. “The opening of Kensington's Met Fresh supermarket in this long-vacant building demonstrates the FRESH program's ongoing success in identifying and supporting supermarkets in key neighborhoods.”

“As a minority and woman small business owner, I am very grateful to NYCIDA and the FRESH program for their support and help with the opening of the Met Fresh supermarket that will allow us to serve the Kensington community in Brooklyn,” said Jeneen Hamdam, Owner, Met Fresh Supermarket. “Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and it is thanks to programs like these that more businesses can be created which will in turn can greatly benefit the communities they serve and help New York City thrive.”

“I am delighted to celebrate the opening of a new Met Fresh market at Kensington,” said Mayor's Office of Food Policy Executive Director Kate MacKenzie. “As part of our Food Forward Plan, it is our aim to ensure that New Yorkers have multiple ways to access nutritious food. The FRESH program means that more New Yorkers can shop in neighborhood grocery stores, meaning that they can choose what ingredients to buy and how to feed their families. We are so excited to celebrate this huge win for the Kensington community.”

“I welcome Met Fresh Kensington to the Council District 39 community,” said Council Member Shahana Hanif. “I look forward to my constituents in Kensington having an additional source of fresh and healthy food available to them in the neighborhood. I thank the NYCEDC and NYCIDA for their support in making today’s opening a reality.”

“Everyone should have access to fresh healthy food, and I applaud EDC’s efforts to help make this a reality for all New Yorkers,” said Assemblymember Robert Carroll. “I am glad to see Met Fresh opening at this site, which has been vacant for too long. It will not only give residents more shopping opportunities but also provide much needed jobs and economic activity.”

“Investments in supermarkets that are located in areas with limited food options not only enhances the local economy, but also helps improve the quality of life for area residents,” said Randy Peers, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and an IDA Board member. “I applaud NYCEDC and the Mayor’s Office for Food Policy for leveraging the IDA’s FRESH program to support the opening of Met Fresh Supermarket in Kensington, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce looks forward to providing ongoing support to Met Fresh to ensure long-term business success.”

“We applaud New York City’s Economic Development Corporation for extending their FRESH program into central Brooklyn. We at ASG are thrilled for Janeen and the entire Hamdan family for the opening of their Met Fresh on Church Avenue,” said Zulema Wiscovitch, Co-CEO and Co-President and Joe Garcia, Co-CEO and Co-President of Associated Supermarket Group (ASG). This supermarket will excel at serving the food needs of Central Brooklyn’s multicultural communities with the freshest produce, variety, and excellent customer service.” “Met Fresh will encourage investment and job creation in Kensington and the surrounding neighborhoods. Congratulations to the Hamdan family on their new location.”

With the NYCIDA tax support, Met Fresh Kensington was able to convert a building that has been vacant for five years into a dynamic supermarket for the surrounding community. In order for a supermarket to be eligible for FRESH benefits, the store must be in an eligible area in New York City, identified as or adjacent to a highly distressed census tract, and provide: a minimum of 5,000 square feet of retail space for a general line of food and nonfood grocery products; a minimum of 30 percent of retail space dedicated to perishable goods; and at least 500 square feet of retail space for fresh produce.

Met Fresh supermarkets are part of the Associated Supermarket Group (ASG) which provides retail solutions to independently owned grocery stores across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

New York City Economic Development Corporation is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization that works for a vibrant, inclusive, and globally competitive economy for all New Yorkers. We take a comprehensive approach, through four main strategies: strengthen confidence in NYC as a great place to do business; grow innovative sectors with a focus on equity, build neighborhoods as places to live, learn, work, and play; and deliver sustainable infrastructure for communities and the city's future economy. To learn more about what we do, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA) supports business growth, relocation, and expansion across the five boroughs by lowering the cost of capital investment. NYCIDA’s tax incentive programs bolster the local economy, create jobs for New Yorkers, and uphold the city’s position as a global business hub.

About ASG
Associated Supermarket Group provides retail solutions to independently owned grocery stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, providing distribution, marketing, merchandising, promotional services, and store financing. A relationship with ASG allows independently owned and operated stores to take advantage of the economies of scale normally available only to larger supermarket chains. ASG’s supermarket banners include Associated, Associated Fresh, Compare, Compare Fresh, Met Foods, Met Fresh, Metropolitan City Market, Pioneer and other independently named stores.