Newark factory goes from steel to salads

Extending the trend to turn abandoned industrial buildings from brown to “green,” the site of an abandoned steel plant in Newark, New Jersey, is slated to become a 69,000-square-foot vertical farm.

The $30 million project is being organized by the private AeroFarms company, which also will maintain its headquarters on the site. The initiative is funded by private investors, the City of Newark and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. The plant is slated to start shipping herbs and leafy greens after June, creating 78 jobs and hosting a job-training program for area residents. The plant will yield up to 2 million pounds of produce annually when complete.

The farm is the anchor project of what the developer, the private RBH Group, calls a “makers village” on the site’s three-acre campus. RBH is planning to group manufacturers with a green conscience, generate on-site energy and recycle water, and it will reserve a portion of the space for public recreation. 

: This example is part of the larger sustainable living trend line Gerald Celente first forecast in his book “Trends 2000” and the institute has been tracking since. Financially-strapped cities, particularly smaller to mid-size municipalities, will find it increasingly attractive to partner with investors on similar types of projects, revitalizing crumbling infrastructure in the process. This trend line also bolsters the farm-to-table movement, which continues to gain momentum.

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