Gotham Greens opens Providence greenhouse to supply New England
Officials joined Gotham Greens CEO Viraj Puri on the banks of Providence’s Woonasquatucket River March 28 to view the construction of the company’s 110,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art greenhouse farm that will create about 60 jobs.
The facility is slated to open in early fall 2019 and will operate year-round. It will supply residents, restaurants and foodservice customers of greater New England with 10 million heads of farm-fresh lettuce and leafy greens annually, according to a news release from the company.
The site at 555 Harris Ave., which had been vacant for two decades, was once home to Providence Base Works — a General Electric facility that manufactured lamp bases.
The $12.5 million project is a collaborative community effort, bringing in diverse stakeholders from local and state government agencies including the Office of the Governor, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), the Office of Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, Providence Redevelopment Agency (PRA), Providence Office of Economic Opportunity, as well as many other City of Providence staff and community members.
Gotham Greens has deeded a portion of its property to the city and is collaborating with the PRA in order to create a publicly accessible bike path along the Woonasquatucket River that will connect riverbank communities to downtown Providence. Gotham Greens will partner with community organizations to increase access to healthy foods and support wellness and nutrition education, ag-tech research and environmental education programs across the region.
In support of this project, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation has committed up to $2.3 million in tax credits, payable over a 10-year period contingent on actual job creation. In addition, DEM has awarded $250,000 as part of their Brownfield Remediation and Economic Development 2016 Green Economy Bond program, and the Providence Department of Economic Opportunity has committed $200,000 for job creation and training.
Using advanced growing methods that include recirculating hydroponics, big data-driven climate control intelligence, and renewable energy, the facility is expected to produce approximately 30 times the yield of conventional agriculture per acre, while using 90 percent less water.
With this project, Gotham Greens is continuing its rapid growth of building high-tech indoor greenhouse farms across the U.S. Since its pioneering greenhouse launch in 2011, Gotham Greens has grown from a single urban rooftop greenhouse in Brooklyn to a multi-state indoor farming leader and one of the largest hydroponic leafy greens producers in North America. Gotham Greens currently operates more than 180,000 square feet of greenhouse in New York and Chicago and has an additional 500,000 square feet of development underway across five U.S. states, including previously announced projects in Chicago and Baltimore.
Photo at top: Pictured is a rendering of Gotham Greens’ forthcoming 110,000-square-foot high-tech greenhouse farm. Photo: Gotham Greens