A private, commercial, vertical, indoor strawberry farm was approved by the Murray City Council during their June 18 meeting. In a first for an urban Utah city, the City Council amended the Murray City Municipal Code to allow for indoor, vertical farming.
This clears the way for Chihan Kim, a businessman whose holdings include a Sandy coffee shop, to develop what would be Utah’s first large-scale commercial, indoor, hydroponic farm in a vacant warehouse building located at 158 E. 4500 South.
“(I) will collect all the material to build the facility and…grow vegetables and some fruits, like strawberries, that will benefit from the omittance of herbicides,” Kim told the Murray City Planning Commission on May 2.
Before the code change, “Indoor Farming” was not listed as an allowable use in any zone in Murray City. For Kim to move forward with his zoning request, he needed to go through the extreme measure of having Murray change its code to allow for such a business.
This won’t be the first vertical, indoor farm in Utah, as an 11,000-square-foot facility sits on farmland in Charleston. Strong Vertical Garden supplies produce from that building to Smith’s grocery stores and microgreens to several chefs and restaurants in Utah.
The building that Kim intends to transform into an indoor farm is the former Electrical Wholesale Supply building. That building will allow Kim’s company, City Farm, to have 40,609 square feet for operations. LED lighting will be the primary source of light for the plants.