(Photo via Facebook/Gotham Greens)
An agtech company is taking a plot at the former site of a Baltimore County steel mill.
Gotham Greens announced plans Tuesday to build a hydroponic greenhouse at Tradepoint Atlantic, the 3,100-acre development that formerly housed the Bethlehem Steel mill in Sparrows Point.
The 100,000 sq. ft. facility, which the company plans to open in 2019, will grow leafy greens and herbs that the New York–based company aims to supply to supermarkets, restaurants and others in the mid-Atlantic. The new facility will be powered by 100 percent renewable electricity, and utilize recycled irrigation water as part of a process that is designed to be more efficient in yielding crops than conventional farming. About 60 full-time jobs are initially expected in areas such as horticulture, engineering, plant science and food manufacturing.
For Tradepoint Atlantic, it marks a move into green businesses. The current developers took over the site in 2014 following the shuttering of the steel mill. The transformation into a logistics hub comes with a bold goal to bring 11,000 jobs to the once-roaring economic engine, and has touted the property’s access to multiple forms of transportation over land and sea.
Along with Gotham Greens, it has so far attracted tenant like Under Armour and Amazon who plan distribution centers employing thousands. While it won’t have a huge job count, Gotham Greens signals a new kind of tenant as leaders look to transform the site.
“Today marks a true milestone, in the continuing revitalization of Sparrows Point, where a community synonymous with the production of steel will now be home to a leading agriculture tech startup producing locally-grown, premium produce while bringing green jobs to the community,” Eric Gilbert, Chief Development Officer at Tradepoint Atlantic, said in a statement.
Gotham Greens opened its first greenhouse in Brooklyn after being founded there in 2009, and expanded to Chicago, where it now operates two greenhouses. Baltimore County will be the company’s third market, with eight facilities expected to be in operation by the time the Tradepoint Atlantic site opens.
“Urban agriculture, at its core, is about reconnecting with the community through food, jobs and economic development,” Viraj Puri, CEO of Gotham Greens, said in a statement. “To that end, we’ve found a great partner and are proud to be part of the American industrial turnaround story taking place at Tradepoint Atlantic.”-30-
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