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World’s Largest Rooftop Farm Planned For Brooklyn Making New York The Model For Urban Agriculture


Rendering of Federal Building #2 Redevelopment.

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

Press Release

NEW YORK, NY, March 29, 2012 – It was announced today that a multi-acre farm will be built on 100,000 square feet of rooftop space in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park—making it the largest rooftop farm in the world. The state-of-the-art, hydroponic greenhouse is being built by BrightFarms, Inc. in partnership with Salmar Properties LLC. The farm will grow up to 1 million pounds of local produce per year, including tomatoes, lettuces and herbs, which will cultivate a new national model for urban agriculture.

The rooftop farm will be built on Federal Building #2, renamed Liberty View Industrial Plaza, an 8-story 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse building. Salmar Properties’ redevelopment of the building, coupled with BrightFarms’ visionary rooftop design, is part of the Bloomberg administration’s plan to revitalize Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront.

The rooftop farm will both help revitalize the building and revolutionize local produce. It will grow enough crops to meet the fresh vegetable consumption needs of up to 5,000 New Yorkers, create jobs, and prevent as much as 1.8 million gallons of storm water from going into local waterways. By eliminating the length and complexity of the produce supply chain, this farm will grow produce that is fresher, tastier, and more sustainable than produce shipped across the country.

Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, says “This partnership and zoning initiative set an example for the nation on how to embrace rooftop urban agriculture.” The Borough President has long been supportive of zoning creativity to maximize potential for greenhouse farms citywide, which is about to bear fruit in Brooklyn.

“I am so pleased that the revitalization of Federal Building #2 is continuing,” says Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “As we watch this once-dormant industrial space recreated as a variety of innovative and productive uses, we can take great pride in the years of work and vision required to come to this point. This site is truly becoming a part of Brooklyn’s working waterfront once again. I look forward to tasting the first tomatoes and lettuce grown on its roof.”

“The partnership between BrightFarms and Salmar Properties to build the world’s largest rooftop farm is an exciting new model for sustainable, urban agriculture,” says New York City Council Speaker, Christine C. Quinn. “The farm will contribute meaningfully to the mission of FoodWorks, my vision to improve NYC’s food system by dramatically increasing local food production while positively affecting public health, the economy, and the environment.”

“As a New York-based company, we are thrilled to demonstrate the significant role that cities can play in meeting the nation’s insatiable demand for sustainable, local produce,” says BrightFarms CEO Paul Lightfoot. “Our mission is to increase the availability of locally grown produce nationwide; building the world’s largest rooftop farm is a huge step towards our goal.”

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz will announce the partnership between Salmar and BrightFarms on April 5, 2012, at a celebration of Brooklyn local food. The celebration will be co-hosted by New York Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Chef Mario Batali, Former Chairman of A&P Christian Haub, and Food, Inc. Director Robert Kenner.

Link here.

4 comments

1 Quora { 04.03.12 at 12:31 am }

How close are we to having high-rise hydroponics farms available in the metro areas?…

Here is, as I see it, where things sit, and where they could go. The Pretty Pictures of Future Vertical Farms When many people hear vertical farming, they envision these beautiful architectural renderings of high rise building bursting with lush growth…

2 Vanessa { 04.05.12 at 3:49 pm }

This is amazing news! Can’t wait to see it’s progression.

3 Detroit, je t'aime { 04.06.12 at 7:58 am }

Absolutely astonishing! What a wonderfully ambitious project. Detroit has a pretty large urban farming scene, but does not necessarily have the support of government agents the way Brooklyn seems to have. But Brooklyn and Detroit are more similar than one might initially think — Detroit is trying to emerge from its post-industrial landscape in the same way NYC mayor Bloomberg is trying to revitalize Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront. A giant rooftop garden like this could definitely work in Detroit.

4 Jane Schneider { 04.15.12 at 10:49 am }

One of the main arguments for the vertical farms is to save up on the costs of transportation. But what about the enormous initial costs of building such a hyper modern building and all the lighting, heating, and powering that it requires? The Scandinavian green architects of Plantagon are claiming that their greenhouse design will be able to cover the expenditures from its own profits. Well, I wanna believe. Also, the environmental effect needs to be thought over if the vertical farm is run by fossil fuels. As long as they consider all these pitfalls and are careful enough, I strongly believe that this is the next step for a “greener” future.