Muncie-based agriculture technology firm Balance Holdings (BHI) is looking to expand operations in Daleville, investing nearly $18 million for the assembly of greenhouse units.
BHI is acquiring 33 acres at I-69 and Ind. 67 in Daleville for development of a new 100,000-square-foot headquarters and demonstration greenhouse, investing $18 million in new buildings and equipment at the location, according to a release from Delaware County officials.
To date, BHI has already hired 34 people in Delaware County and plans to hire more than 120 employees within the next 18 months, according to officials with the company.
“We’re really excited to be working with BHI on the development of their facility,” Delaware County Commissioner James King said in a news release announcing the development. “BHI’s team has been incredibly forthcoming with their plans and entrepreneurial spirit to continue business expansions that grow the local tax base and develop the site.”
In order to see it through the development of the project, BHI has already leased two temporary office complexes at 3701-3705 N. Briarwood Lane and 3525 Purdue Ave. in Muncie.
Glynn Barber, the CEO of BHI, patented the aquaponics system that the greenhouses currently use. It's a combination of aquaculture, or raising fish in tanks, and hydroponics, or raising plants in troughs of water called Environmentally Controlled Sustainable Integrated Agriculture (ECSIA).
After multiple trials, Barber perfected the system and began marketing it to schools, nonprofits, hospitals, community organizations and others.
The facility in Daleville will be built for the continued development, design, and assembly of the ECSIA systems. Barber's greenhouse systems are already operational in a number of other locations across the country, including the city of East Chicago; the North Central Indiana Teen Challenge in Elkhart; Wapahani High School; and Urban REAP in Waco, Texas.
Source: The Star Press.