Local Bounti has “paused” construction of its $40 million greenhouse complex in east Pasco. The Pasco facility was supposed to be the second in a network of high-tech complexes where Local Bounti planned to cultivate lettuce, herbs, and other greens in its pursuit of a share of the $30 billion U.S. market. The first is at its Hamilton, Montana, headquarters.
Local Bounti said it remained committed to building the facility, but was pausing to assess its needs after it entered a $123 million deal to acquire Hollandia Produce Group, an established California indoor farming company that operates under the name Pete’s.
The pause, which includes stripping the construction site of all equipment other than a water tank, will “ensure that its design is fully optimized to drive best-in-class unit economics and that synergies with Pete’s existing growing systems are considered prior to continuing construction,” it said in its first-ever 10-K annual report, filed March 30 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company dismissed questions that it was unhappy with the local developer and said the property, at Oregon Avenue and A Street near Big Pasco Industrial Park, is not for sale. Matt Dallas, a spokesman, said Local Bounti sees demand for fresh produce rising in the Tri-Cities. Its existing network of greenhouses is not capable of keeping up with expected demand, he said in response to questions from the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business. The company will provide an update on the Pasco project in its first quarter earnings report in May.
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