Innovative Agriculture Facility Will Create Approximately 130 Jobs and Serve as the Next Chapter in Pullman’s Renaissance
CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—March 15, 2018
By: Rosemary Piser
Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Gotham Greens founders Viraj Puri and Eric Haley and community leaders in Pullman to break ground on what will be Chicago’s largest agricultural greenhouse. The 140,000-square-foot Gotham Greens greenhouse near 107th Street and Doty Avenue will create approximately 60 permanent and 70 construction jobs and strengthen Pullman’s ongoing renaissance.
At the ground breaking, Mayor Emanuel said, “Gotham Greens’ decision to double down and build a second greenhouse is a vote of confidence in Chicago and another sign of the economic renaissance underway in the historic Pullman community. Pullman’s historic past is matched only by its growing economic resurgence today, thanks to partners like Gotham Greens.”
The new facility will produce local, premium quality vegetables and herbs year-round for retailers, restaurants and institutional foodservice customers. Using state-of-the art growing methods that include hydroponics, evaporative cooling systems and renewable energy resources, the $12.6 million complex is expected to produce approximately 30 times the yield of conventional agriculture per acre while using 10 percent of the water.
“Thanks to the leadership and hard work of Mayor Emanuel, Alderman Beale, the City of Chicago, CNI, and all of our community partners, Pullman has been a great place to innovate and do business,” Viraj Puri, co-founder and CEO at Gotham Greens said. “We’re producing millions of pounds of fresh produce annually for national and local grocery stores and foodservice operators across Chicagoland, far exceeding our expectations. This is the ideal time for us to expand our presence in the Midwest, and Pullman is the ideal place for us to do so.”
The project will be Gotham Greens’ second greenhouse in Pullman. The company currently operates a 75,000-square-foot greenhouse on the roof of the nearby Method Products factory, which opened in 2015.
Alderman Anthony Beale (9th) said, “Pullman’s renewal is growing stronger than ever before. Since taking shape in 2013, today Pullman Park is drawing more than two million consumers annually, Whole Foods is distributing fresh food across North America and Gotham Greens is putting fresh greens on grocery shelves across the region, right here from the Pullman neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.”
The 6.2-acre project site was occupied until 2008 by a Ryerson Steel plant and later acquired by Pullman Park LLC. Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives plans to acquire and prepare the site for $3.68 million and subsequently sell the property to Gotham Greens, which will complete the greenhouse’s vertical construction. Approximately $3.4 million in Tax Increment Financing assistance for the site preparation work is pending City Council approval.
“These are exciting days for Pullman,” David Doig, President of CNI said. “With unparalleled road, rail infrastructure, abundant vacant land, 20-minute proximity to the Loop, complemented by the venerable housing stock and historic buildings, Pullman is becoming the destination where more people are choosing to go to live and work. Along with great leadership from Alderman Beale and a great partnership with Mayor Emanuel, Pullman is the ‘ultimate comeback’ community.”
About Gotham Greens:
Gotham Greens is a global pioneer in the field of urban agriculture and a leading producer of year-round, hyper-local produce and fresh food products. Gotham Greens’ premium-quality produce is grown using ecologically sustainable methods in technologically-sophisticated, 100% clean energy powered, climate controlled urban greenhouses. Gotham Greens provides its diverse retail, restaurant, and institutional customers with a reliable, year-round supply of produce grown under the highest standards of food safety and environmental sustainability. The company has built and operates 4 greenhouse facilities spanning over 170,000 square feet in New York City and Chicago and has several projects under development across the US. Gotham Greens was founded in 2009 in Brooklyn, New York. www.gothamgreens.com