FreshDirect Foes Say They'll Appeal

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Bronx Supreme Court

Photo by: Christopher Le

Bronx Supreme Court

A state judge erred when she booted opponents of the FreshDirect deal out of court, lawyers for the company's foes say in court documents filed Wednesday.

Last month, Judge Maryann Brigantti-Hughes rejected a lawsuit by South Bronx Unite which claimed that the environmental screening and financial underpinnings of the grocery giant's proposed move were out of step with state law. Brigantti-Hughes rejected every one of the complaints in the suit, some on factual points, others on technical ones.

Now the plaintiffs want an appeals court to weigh in on the plan, which would move FreshDirect's headquarters from Queens to the Bronx.

Supporters argue that it will keep 2,000 jobs in New York City—and eventually bring up to a thousand additional jobs to the city. Opponents question the value of spending $130 million in public subsidies to move jobs from one borough to another. They also say the truck traffic associated with FreshDirect—938 vehicle trips a day—is unwelcome in an area with heavy truck traffic and high asthma rates.

In a statement, FreshDirect said: “It is unfortunate that a vocal minority continues to try to delay a project that will bring thousands of jobs to the South Bronx and make it easier for people to get fresh food. A court has already ruled unequivocally that our environmental review was legal and rejected the other side’s arguments out of hand. We are moving forward with our plans to build our facility and look forward to setting up shop in the Bronx.”