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Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

This could be the newest cash cow in Queens.

A Queens-based business has been selected to develop a 7.3-acre plot of vacant land at Kennedy Airport.

Bartlett Dairy & Food Service, a family-run business that has been in operation since 1968, was chosen by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to develop a 56,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center on a large chunk of JFK’s North Site, one of the largest city-owned manufacturing zoned properties.

 

The property is located between the Nassau Expressway and Rockaway Boulevard near North Hangar Road.

Officials from NYCEDC said that part of the decision to select Bartlett was influenced by the company’s commitment to hiring local residents: 75 percent of Bartlett’s workforce come from Queens or Brooklyn. The company has also pledged to provide 30 percent of the contracts to design and construct the facility to minority- and women-owned businesses.

“The selection of Bartlett Dairy and Food Service will help preserve nearly 200 jobs, while creating 50 new full-time positions, providing more employment opportunities for New Yorkers of all backgrounds,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer.

While it is unknown exactly how much Bartlett will be paying for the site, public documents show that the company is expected to receive $15 million in tax exemptions and abatements; it is projected to generate $53 million in city tax revenue over a 25-year period.

The selection comes in the wake of the closing of Elmhurst Dairy, the last remaining milk processing plant in the city.

“Bartlett Dairy’s redevelopment of the JFK North Site into a manufacturing and distribution center will reinforce the City’s dairy supply, bridge the upstate and downstate food economy, and revitalize the JFK Industrial Business Zone,” said Torres-Springer.

The JFK North site is the area in red. (photo courtesy of NYCEDC)

Bartlett’s selection will also give wholesale customers more diverse options, says Bruce Krupke, executive vice president of Northeast Dairy Foods Association.

“With a milk processor located in the city operated by Bartlett Dairy, they will provide an alternative supplier for wholesale customers to choose from, which will help ensure consumers can choose not only a quality local-made product but a competitively priced one as well,”  Krupke said.

Both Councilman Donovan Richards and state Senator James Sanders praised the agreement.

“It’s great that a longtime, well-respected, family-run business like Bartlett Dairy is opening a new site at JFK and bringing with it jobs for the community and opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs),” Sanders said. “This is the type of growth and economic development that must continue in our community if we want to thrive and prosper.”

“The selection of Bartlett Dairy to develop the city’s JFK North Site is going to be a boost to our community, by utilizing untapped land to employ local residents, while benefiting a local minority-owned business that has thrived in New York City for decades,” Richards added.

Development of the JFK North site will commence in fall 2018, with an expected completion of fall 2020.

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