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Hydroponic greenhouse expected to create 137 jobs at Eastman Business Park

What Governor Andrew Cuomo describes as the nation’s largest hydroponic commercial greenhouse will locate its operations at the Eastman Business Park.

Clearwater Organic Farms will build a 650,000 square foot facility that will produce fresh, locally grown, organic baby leaf greens year-round. The project is expected to create 137 new full-time jobs, most of which will be in packaging, shipping, receiving and warehousing. 55 of those jobs are reserved for veterans or those who are underemployed.

New York’s economic development agency, Empire State Development, has offered up to $4 million in grants from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative and $2 million in tax credits. The project is also receiving tax incentives from Monroe County.

The total project cost is about $50 million. The co-chairs of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, Anne Kress and Danny Wegman say that the Clearwater project helps fulfill the demands for healthy, high quality, locally grown food.

Dolores Kruchten is president of Eastman Business Park. She says food production companies make for a good match with the facilities available at the business park.

“This is a perfect fit, it’s one that they are growing inside of a greenhouse, so the use of steam for the plant, the electricity, the water, are all great fits with us and then of course it’s the added benefit that LiDestri will be able to use some of the outcome of what they produce.”

Kruchten says the new hydroponics operation will be located adjacent to LiDestri Foods, which will be able to use some of the products, such as basil, which is produced by Clearwater.

The new facility for Clearwater is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.