Marsh Supermarkets will be the exclusive retail partner of BrightFarms’ greenhouse, which will expand neighborhood revitalization, create local jobs and grow millions of pounds of local produce
Indianapolis, IN, July 15, 2013 — It was announced today that BrightFarms, Inc. is building a 100,000 square foot greenhouse farm in Indianapolis, Indiana. The state-of-the-art, hydroponic greenhouse will be built in partnership with the Westside Community Development Corporation (WCDC) and Marsh Supermarkets. The farm will grow up to 1 million pounds of local produce per year, including tomatoes, lettuces, and herbs, further advancing the redevelopment of the Near West neighborhood by strengthening the local economy and dramatically increasing local food production.
Led by WCDC, the Michigan Street Corridor has become a redevelopment hub, connecting commercial revitalization to residents of the community. BrightFarms joins five new businesses, locating in this section of Near West Indianapolis. The nearly 5-acre parcel of land on which the farm will be built, at 2219 W. Michigan Street, has been vacant since 1996.
BrightFarms builds greenhouses at or near supermarkets, growing a meaningful supply of fresh, healthy, local produce on a year-round basis. The company is dedicated to improving the health of the planet by growing sustainably and to the health of society by increasing access to fresh produce. Marsh Supermarkets, which operates 97 Supermarkets throughout Indiana and Ohio, will be the exclusive retail partner for the Indianapolis greenhouse. The 100,000 square foot greenhouse will create up to 25 green collar jobs and grow millions of pounds of produce that conserves natural resources and is thousands of miles fresher for Marsh customers and local community organizations.
Today, Mayor Ballard, Lieutenant Governor Ellspermann, ISDA Director Gina Sheets, Executive Director of the WCDC Phil Votaw, Marsh Vice President of Produce and Floral Dave Rhodes, and BrightFarms CEO Paul Lightfoot announced plans for the farm, which will be completed in 2014.
“This announcement will bring about help bring many positive changes to this neighborhood,” says Mayor Greg Ballard. “The investment in this community by BrightFarms will help promote healthy living by providing fresh fruits and vegetables, provide new jobs and add to the growing list of projects that are helping to revitalize this neighborhood.”
“Bright Farms brings to life the notion of locally grown produce and urban agriculture at its finest,” says Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann. “We’re grateful they’ve chosen Indiana as a business hub, and we welcome their sustainable practices and commitment to healthier options for consumers.”
“This innovation on Indy’s Westside is about more than the one million pounds of food that will be produced each year; it is a testament to our community’s ongoing growth and our collective efforts for neighborhood revitalization,” says Congressman André Carson. “BrightFarms will not only ensure better access to fresh produce and tackle issues of hunger in Indianapolis, it will strengthen our local economy and bring much-needed jobs to the people that call this community home. Today is a big win for our city.”
“We are very pleased to have BrightFarms opening this facility in Indiana,” says ISDA Director Gina Sheets. “Our state is already a wonderful business destination and particularly in the agribusiness industry, the prospects have never looked brighter. The job creation, the technological innovation and of course the introduction of another top-notch operation and product into the Indiana food business are all very welcome developments for our state’s economy.”
“This is an exciting day for the Michigan Street Corridor,” says Phil Votaw, Executive Director of WCDC. “The BrightFarms greenhouse is a symbol of WCDC’s longstanding effort to revitalize the Near West neighborhood and this community’s ongoing transformation.”
“We are looking forward to our partnership with BrightFarms and offering our customers the freshest, locally grown produce in every season,” says Dave Rhodes, Marsh Vice President of Produce and Floral.
“We are thrilled to be working with WCDC and the city of Indianapolis, which share our values of fostering strong communities, conserving natural resources, and supporting local food,” says Paul Lightfoot, CEO of BrightFarms. “We could not be more excited to partner with Marsh, a truly local supermarket known for its dedication to customer service and quality produce, and provide them with the freshest produce imaginable on a year-round basis!”
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 Westside Community Development Corporation
Westside Community Development Corporation (WCDC) was created in 1985 to engage in community development and revitalization in the Near West area. Since the early 1990s the organization has built or rehabbed more than 150 housing units for first-time low to moderate-income homebuyers and has sold almost all of them. WCDC also created 94 rental units for low-moderate income families and seniors, which it also owns and manages.
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