Gotham Greens plans to open 2nd greenhouse in chicago

Gotham Greens plans to open 2nd greenhouse in chicago

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Gotham Greens, a New York-based hydroponic grower of leafy greens, is planning to open a second greenhouse in Pullman to grow its business in the Chicago market.

The new $12.5 million, 105,000-square-foot greenhouse will be on South Doty Avenue on the former Ryerson industrial site in Pullman, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office, near the company’s first Pullman greenhouse on top of the Method soap factory. The expansion reflects both the company’s success in the Chicago market — through selling its products in chains including Jewel-Osco and Whole Foods Market — as well as the continued redevelopment of the Pullman area. While Gotham’s first Pullman greenhouse was a rooftop structure, the second one will be free-standing.

“We’re thrilled to be building a second, larger, state-of-the-art greenhouse facility in Pullman,” Gotham Greens CEO Viraj Puri said in an email. “Retailers, institutional food service operators are increasingly attracted to consistency and reliability of our year-round, local produce supply. Further, consumer interest in locally produced food continues to grow.”

Puri declined to give a timeline for the facility’s opening, saying the deal was still being finalized.

Gotham Greens' rooftop greenhouse in Brooklyn, NY.

Gotham Greens' rooftop greenhouse in Brooklyn, NY.

The project could receive up to $3.35 million in tax increment financing assistance for site work on 6.2 acres, though that’s still subject to City Council approval, according to the mayor’s office. The existing zoning of the planned development would also need to be amended to allow for light manufacturing, according to the mayor’s office.

The land — situated just north of Planet Fitness along the Bishop Ford Expressway — is part of the former Ryerson industrial site owned by U.S. Bank and Pullman-based nonprofit developer Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives.

David Doig, president of CNI, said the nonprofit would improve the site before selling it to Gotham Greens for up to $800,000.

The new Gotham Greens greenhouse will employ about 60 workers.

In a statement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel hailed the project.

“This expansion, on the heels of the opening of the new Whole Foods distribution center, the Method plant and the many other projects in the area are creating jobs and helping Pullman reclaim its history as a thriving hub for innovation and manufacturing,” Emanuel said in the statement.

Last month, Whole Foods opened its new 140,000-square-foot distribution center on 16.5 acres adjacent to the Method soap plant. Developers also are planning more than 1 million square feet of warehouse space as part of 50-acre complex called Pullman Crossings, to be built this summer along 103rd Street and Woodlawn Avenue.

In the past five years, various projects have brought in more than $250 million worth of investment to Pullman, Doig said.

“This is really breathtaking to see the progress we’re making in this community,” said Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th.

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