Two South Bend indoor farming proposals could make metropolis hub for hydroponic make sector

The South Bend Prevalent Council unanimously accepted numerous tax abatements Monday night time for two indoor farming functions. The investments could make the town a significant hub in the hydroponic develop business.

Greenleaf Holdco, which does small business as Pure Green Farms, operates a four-acre hydroponic greenhouse on Calvert Road in close proximity to the South Bend Ethanol Plant.

It grows about two million pounds of numerous lettuces indoors 365 days a calendar year. And the firm has designs for a $68 million greenback enlargement, making 75 new jobs and retaining 25 present types with an typical wage of about $24 an hour.

Ideal next doorway, JEM Farms is preparing a $178 million dollar investment decision to make 100 acres of greenhouses, which would make tomatoes and strawberries and hire about 110 men and women. On normal, those workers would make just less than $30 an hour.

On Monday evening, the South Bend Common Council unanimously voted to approve about $17.2 million in tax abatements for the initiatives, which could make the metropolis a significant regional hub for indoor farming.

“It’s building a new business,” sixth district council member Sheila Niezgodski claimed. “New positions — $240 million of expenditure, it’s just wonderful.”

Niezgodski known as it a “once-in-a-lifetime” chance.

“I never know if I’m gonna see an additional $240 million dumped into the sixth district,” she reported. “And I say dumped due to the fact we could be the salad bowl of the Midwest.”

The tax abatements passed unanimously for both providers despite some confusion earlier this month encompassing JEM Farms’ software.

Originally, it mentioned Crimson Sunshine Farms as a associate. But subsequent an post about the challenge past thirty day period in the South Bend Tribune, Pink Sunlight Farms said they experienced no programs to be concerned.

Santiago Garces, the city’s director of community expenditure, stated through the Monday assembly that the confusion was mainly because JEM Farms operator Jamie Mastronardi is also a principal in Crimson Sun Farms.

In a letter submitted to the widespread council, Mastronardi apologized for the error.

“My son Paul is a director at JEM Farms and wanting to develop greenhouse in South Bend, Indiana,” Mastronardi wrote. “Paul has no affiliation with Red Solar farms.”

If the projects are developed, Greenleaf and JEM Farms will shell out no individual assets or genuine estate taxes for 5 many years. Then, the abatements will progressively stage out and at some point disappear in 9 years.

That suggests JEM will spend about $2.5 million in taxes above the abatement time period, and Greenleaf will pay out about $500,000.

Jeff Rea, the president and CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce, mentioned the tasks are “one of the largest single investments in the city in fairly some time.”

“It puts South Bend on the map,” Rea said. “It’s a terrific generator of new jobs and capital investment, and we consider it would be a true catalyst to other action right here.”

Make contact with Jakob at or stick to him on Twitter at @JakobLazzaro.

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