Sunday, March 24, 2013

100,000 Square Foot Farm Planned for Berkley Riverfront Development Scales up Urban Agriculture and Innovation in Kansas City

Below is an official press release concerning the new greenhouse coming to KC

BrightFarms’ Business Model Provides Retailers with Fresh, Local Produce Year-Round


KANSAS CITY, MO, March 19, 2013 – It was announced today that a 100,000 square foot greenhouse farm will be built in Kansas City, Missouri. The state-of-the-art, hydroponic greenhouse will be built by BrightFarms, Inc. in partnership with the Port Authority of Kansas City, Missouri. The farm will grow up to 1 million pounds of local produce per year, including tomatoes, lettuces, and herbs, further propelling Kansas City as a leader in urban agriculture.

The farm will be built at the Berkley Riverfront Development, located along the Missouri River, close to downtown Kansas City. After years of preparation, the nearly five-acre site is ready for construction. The farm is part of the larger Port Authority plan for the riverfront, which is one of the largest urban riverfront development sites in the country.

The farm will energize the riverfront while dramatically scaling up urban agriculture in Kansas City. It will grow enough crops to meet the fresh vegetable consumption needs of up to 5,000 Kansas City residents, create 25 full-time, green-collar jobs, facilitate over 100 construction jobs, and prevent storm water from going into local waterways. By growing locally, BrightFarms delivers produce that is thousands of miles fresher, more flavorful, and better for the community.

“BrightFarms is not only growing local produce, they are growing our local economy,” says Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James. “We are thrilled to welcome BrightFarms to our community, which is rapidly becoming a model of sustainability.”

Councilman, 1st District At Large Scott Wagner, says, “The history of Kansas City is intertwined with the history of U.S. Agriculture. BrightFarms’ entrance into Kansas City puts our city back on the forefront of 21st Century agriculture and we are very excited to be a part of that.”

Missouri’s Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II, says, “This farm advances the sustainable redevelopment of our riverfront, our city, and our community, creating green-collar jobs and bolstering the local economy.”

“In addition to improving our local food security and creating jobs that cannot be outsourced, this project will enhance Kansas City’s nationwide reputation as a hub of innovation and one of the most modernizing economies in America,” says Senator Holsman.

President & CEO of the Kansas City Port Authority Michael Collins says, “Today marks a very significant day for the Port Authority and BrightFarms. BrightFarms will be producing whole and fresh foods crops in an environmentally and logistically sustainable way. This project will serve as the first of many expected announcements.”

“The Kansas City Port Authority and elected officials have been tremendous champions of BrightFarms and have a visionary plan for the future of this City” says BrightFarms CEO Paul Lightfoot. “We can’t wait to grow millions of pounds of fresh local produce a year and partner with the most innovative local supermarket.”

About BrightFarms
BrightFarms grows local produce, nationwide. By financing, building, and managing greenhouse farms at or near grocery retailers, BrightFarms eliminates time, distance, and costs from the produce supply chain. BrightFarms local produce is fresher, more flavorful, and better for the environment, enabling grocers to change their produce supply chain in a way that improves the planet and their profits.

About Kansas City Port Authority
The Port Authority of Kansas City, Mo., serves as a public redevelopment organization for the purpose of generating new capital investment for both private venture and public infrastructure in order to produce new job opportunities, an increased tax base and for the overall economic vitality of Kansas City.

About the Berkley Riverfront Development
The Berkley Riverfront Development is an ideal location that is along the Missouri River, and close to downtown Kansas City and the City Market. The development site is almost five acres and provides great access to Interstate 29/35. After years of preparation the time has arrived for vertical construction along the Riverfront. Port Authority Staff is working hard exploring other development opportunities.
 

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