AeroFarms Partner Breaks Ground on World's Largest Indoor Vertical Farm
NEWARK, NJ - AeroFarms® broke ground on its new global headquarters.
The beginning of the 69,000 square-foot indoor vertical farm was an event that prompted the appearance of numerous local influencers, including Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Newark Councilman Augusto Amador, New Jersey Acting Governor Kim Guadagno, New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher, and other elected officials and civic leaders.
“Today’s groundbreaking takes us one step closer to addressing the tremendous demand for our locally grown produce that is setting a new culinary standard for freshness and taste,” David Rosenberg, CEO for AeroFarms, said, according to a press release. “We are excited to redefine not only the Garden State but also agriculture overall, and our goal is to increase access to healthier options by working with a wide-range of selling partners from retail to foodservice to farmers markets.”
What is set to be AeroFarms’ new headquarters will also be the world’s largest indoor vertical farm. The company has partnered up with Goldman Sachs, RBH Group, Prudential Financial, the City of Newark, and NJEDA Partner in order to redevelop the former industrial location.
“Partnering with RBH, Goldman Sachs, Prudential, NJEDA, the City of Newark, and the ICC allows us to bring our global headquarters and the world’s largest indoor vertical farm close to where the consumer is, while also creating jobs,” Rosenberg said, adding that the company is happy to build on its deep ties within the Newark Community.
The new corporate headquarters and vertical farm, located on a three-acre industrial site in the center of the Ironbound community in Newark, New Jersey, was designed by the award-winning architectural design firm KSS Architects.
"Today we break ground on an exciting new development that will anchor our “Makers Village” project in the Ironbound neighborhood to compete toe-to-toe with the Brooklyn Navy Yard with a superior cost structure and greater transmodal access, bringing 21st century “maker-type” businesses to Newark and the State of New Jersey,” Ron Beit, Founding Partner and CEO of RBH Group, said, in the release. “We are delighted to bring our elected officials and financial partners together to introduce AeroFarms, a farming and technology leader, to the City of Newark, creating jobs for local residents and greater access to locally grown produce for our city.”
According to AeroFarms, the project is a public private partnership that received public investments from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and the City of Newark, as well as New Market Tax Credit allocation from Goldman Sachs, United Fund Advisors and Dudley Venture. Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group and Prudential Financial also led over $30 million in financing for the endeavor.
“Newark is pleased to partner with AeroFarms, RBH Group, Goldman Sachs, Prudential Financial and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority on the creation of the world's largest indoor vertical farm,” Mayor Ras J. Baraka stated. “Newark is becoming a destination for high-tech and environmentally-friendly development, and this project in the East Ward will bring jobs and prosperity to our city.”
AeroFarms stated that upon completion of the facility, it will have the capacity to grow up to 2 million pounds per year of baby leafy greens and herbs in an environment that will be controlled, safe, and sanitary facility. It will provide healthy foods to the local community as well as to other markets.
“AeroFarms is a model for successful, sustainable farming offering 75 times more productivity per square foot annually than a traditional field farm while using no pesticides and consuming over 95% less water,” the company stated in the release.
Upon completion of the first phase, the new facility is set to create about 80 new jobs in the local community. The first phase of the new headquarters is set to open by the end of this year.