Bowery Farming to Create 70 Jobs with New Bethlehem Facility
By Colin McEvoy on December 11, 2020
The largest vertical farming company in the country has chosen the Lehigh Valley as the best place to expand its operations.
The New York City-based Bowery Farming, Inc. has announced it will open a 150,000 square-foot facility in Bethlehem, making it only the fourth vertical farm operation in the United States, and the first in Pennsylvania.
The project will create and retain at least 70 new, full-time jobs within the next three years, and the company has pledged to invest more than $30 million, according to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, who first announced the project on Dec. 8.
“Pennsylvania welcomes Bowery Farming to our commonwealth’s rich and diverse agriculture industry and looks forward to supporting the company’s growth as it reimagines how farming can be more sustainable and impactful to our communities,” Wolf said.
“Bowery’s expansion will generate new opportunities by establishing this technologically advanced indoor vertical farm and will create new year-round sustainable jobs and a chance to address food insecurity throughout Eastern and Central Pennsylvania,” he said.
Bowery Farming will establish the new facility on a 8.7-acre site in the city of Bethlehem at 1025 Feather Way, a building developed by J.G. Petrucci, Inc., in the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII.
Founded in 2015, the company builds smart, indoor farms right outside of cities that create the ideal growing environment for plants to thrive. Bowery Farming delivers a wide variety of protected produce in little time, near cities they serve, for a truly local approach.
Grown indoors, plants are protected from things like inclement weather and pests, allowing the company to grow produce year-round with zero pesticides, according to Irving Fain, founder and CEO of Bowery Farming.
“Adding our newest, most sophisticated smart indoor farm in Bethlehem to our network is a critical next chapter in our growth,” said.
“We’re proud to transform a former industrial site into productive, modern farmland, which will create year-round sustainable farming jobs for the community and expand access to a reliable source of traceable pesticide-free produce across the region,” Fain said.
Bowery Farming delivers produce via e-commerce and to more than 680 stores in the tri-state area and Mid-Atlantic region, including Amazon Fresh, Giant Food, Hungryroot, Stop & Shop, Walmart, Weis, and specialty grocers, according to the company.
The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.
Bowery Farming received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development for a $210,000 Pennsylvania First grant and $50,000 in grant funding for workforce training. The company has been encouraged to apply for a Neighborhood Assistance Enterprise Zone Tax Credit.
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