After working for more than a decade to launch its first social enterprise, RecoveryPark is poised to break ground in November on a commercial-scale hydroponics greenhouse that will create jobs and eventually, equity ownership for Detroiters facing employment barriers.
The $10 million project on East Palmer Street near Chene will bring farming — albeit a different type — back to a part of the city that was once home to flower and vegetable seed producer D.M. Ferry & Co. and establish Detroit's first commercial-scale hydroponics grower.
It's attracted three high-profile investors: Stephen Polk, CEO of Birmingham investment company Highgate LLC.; Jim M. Nicholson, co-chairman, PVS Chemicals Inc.; and Walter Tripp Howell, retired international director of Jones Lang LaSalle in Washington, D.C., and an ex-pat of the Detroit area, who learned of the project during the 2018 Detroit Homecoming.
Detroit-based Nextek Power Systems is also considering an equity investment, its CEO Paul Savage confirmed.