Posted by Heidi Schwartz
RBH Group and its investment partners, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, Prudential Financial Inc., and AeroFarms, together with the City of Newark and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), announce the closing of a $30 million project to redevelop a former industrial site in the Ironbound community of Newark, NJ into the world’s largest indoor vertical farm and global corporate headquarters for AeroFarms.
The company started out growing in the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY, selling in to local retailers and restaurants including the Ithaca Farmers’ Market and the Moosewood Restaurant. Now the company is returning to its roots with this Newark project. In addition to serving the NY Metro area, the biggest market in the United States, the company has immediate plans for multiple farms in major U.S. cities and also has farms in development in three other continents helping address what is truly a global concern on how to grow locally at scale.
Ron Beit, founding partner and CEO of RBH Group, said, “We are delighted to introduce AeroFarms, a farming and technology leader, to the City of Newark, creating jobs for local residents and greater access to locally grown produce. AeroFarms will anchor our broader ‘Makers Village’ development project in the Ironbound neighborhood which will bring 21st century businesses to Newark and the State of New Jersey.”
David Rosenberg, CEO for AeroFarms, said, “We are excited to redefine not only the Garden State but also agriculture overall. Partnering with RBH, Goldman Sachs, Prudential, the City of Newark and NJEDA allows us to bring our global headquarters and the world’s largest indoor vertical farm close to where the consumer is, offering a fresher, more nutritious and delicious product while also creating jobs in the community.”
Mayor Ras J. Baraka said, “Newark is excited to partner with RBH Group, AeroFarms, Goldman Sachs, Prudential Financial and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority on the creation of the world’s largest indoor vertical farm. Newark is increasingly becoming a destination City for high-tech and environmentally friendly commerce, and this $30 million project in the East Ward will bring jobs and prosperity to our city.”
“We expect AeroFarms to build on Newark’s history as a hub for manufacturing and innovation by attracting and retaining businesses that will grow through the 21st Century,” said Lata Reddy, vice president of corporate social responsibility and president of The Prudential Foundation.
The project received New Market Tax Credit allocation from United Fund Advisors and Dudley Ventures.