US (IL): BrightFarms breaks ground on $10 million project in Rochelle

Last week, BrightFarms Inc. broke ground on a $10 million, 160,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse in Rochelle, Illinois. The Chicagoland Greenhouse, near Bay Valley Foods, just off Interstate 88, will grow more than 1 million pounds of salad greens – kale, arugula, baby spinach, and lettuce – as well as tomatoes and basil a year for suburban grocer Mariano’s, a division of Milwaukee-based Roundy's Supermarkets Inc. About 2 dozen greenhouse jobs will be created, and more than 100 local construction jobs, said Paul Lightfoot, BrightFarms CEO.

BrightFarms' Paul Lightfoot with Mariano's Bob Mariano officially breaking ground in Rochelle last week.

The company "wanted to come to the Chicagoland area because we wanted to partner with Mariano's," Lightfoot said. "Rochelle made it easy for us to decide to come here, because this site was ready to go. Roads, sewer and power all run to this site, and it's build-ready, which isn't often the case."

"We would love to partner with someone local," he added. "Whether it's a nonprofit or with schools, we love to get some of this produce in the local community."

Source: - BrightFarms

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