Monroe County soon will soon be home to the country’s largest hydroponic commercial greenhouse based at Eastman Business Park, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday. The project is expected to add 137 full-time jobs to the local economy.
The greenhouse will span 15 acres, as a 650,000-square-foot facility at Eastman Business Park, and will be built by Clearwater Organic Farms LLC.
The facility is anticipated to be ready by year’s end and will cost a total of roughly $50 million.
“Clearwater Organic Farms fits wonderfully into our vision for Eastman Business Park, and we are honored that they chose the park as the ideal location to construct the largest hydroponic growing system in the United States,” said Dolores Kruchten, president of Eastman Business Park and corporate real estate, in a statement. “The assets at Eastman Business Park make it a perfect fit for this advanced agricultural systems integrator that has partnered with the world’s leading aquaculture and hydroponic technology experts.”
Fifty-five of the new jobs are reserved for veterans or those who are underemployed to support the region’s anti-poverty initiative, officials said.
“The new Clearwater Organic Farms facility will drive innovation, create jobs for New Yorkers who need them most, and bolster economic growth throughout the region,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Our economic strategy continues to generate new activity, attract high-growth industries to the region and build momentum to move the Finger Lakes forward.”
Empire State Development has offered up to $4 million in Upstate Revitalization Initiative funding and $2 million in Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits, which are tied to the commitment to create more than 135 new jobs, according to the governor’s office.
The initiative is part of Cuomo’s “Finger Lakes Forward,” a plan to help kick-start economic development in the region. Over $3.4 billion has been invested in the past five years.
“We are very pleased with the level of support that we’ve received from the State of New York the County of Monroe and COMIDA to bring innovative and leading technology to the Finger Lakes Region,” said Phillip Theodore, CEO of Clearwater Organic Farms in a statement. “Furthermore we’ll be providing pesticide free, fresh, locally grown and organic produce on a year round basis to the consumers in a 400 mile radius of the city of Rochester.”
Hydroponics will be used to offer a fresh organic alternative to current market supplies and will use the onsite RED Utilities at Eastman Business Park.
“When we set out to plan and design Clearwater Organic Farms, Rochester, our goal was to build a world class baby leaf production facility using ‘state of the art’ process technology and grow science that would both be environmentally and socially responsible, “said Peter Ciriello, partner of Clearwater Organic Farms in a statement. “We appreciate the support we have received from the State of New York, Monroe County, the Town of Greece, and our many strategic technology and commercial partners to make Clearwater Organic Farms in Rochester a reality.”
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