Groundbreaking was held Friday at the Eastman Business Park for what is described as a state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse.
Clearwater Organic Farms is building a 475,000 square foot greenhouse that officials say will be the largest hydroponic commercial greenhouse of its kind in the U.S. and will produce more than 2.7 million pounds of fresh produce annually, growing baby leaf greens year–round.
It is being constructed on property owned by LiDestri Food & Drink and will create up to 137 full time jobs. 55 of those jobs are reserved for veterans or those who are underemployed.
The company will initially focus on growing pesticide-free baby argula, basil, spinach and romaine. The project will create up to 137 full time jobs, and is getting help from Monroe County and New York State.
It’s a $50 million project and Empire State Development has offered up to $4 million in Upstate Revitalization Initiative funding and up to $2 million in tax credits in exchange for job creation commitments. Monroe County has also offered tax incentives through Imagine Monroe.
Officials say that the computerized technology at the commercial greenhouse uses about 90 percent less water than traditional field grown crops, significantly reducing the risk of foodborne bacteria.
The company anticipates to begin harvesting in September 2020.