If all goes according to BrightFarms‘ ambitious new plan, Brooklyn, New York will soon be the home to the world’s largest rooftop farm. The hydroponic greenhouse company announced last week that Sunset Park was chosen as the location for the future 100,000 square ft., multi-acre farm rooftop farm, which would be able to grow enough food to meet the fresh produce needs of 5,000 New Yorkers. Up until now, trying to find produce grown in Brooklyn yielded slim pickins’ (though we know a few great spots). The new facility will create 25 new full-time jobs and could change the business models of many local merchants by providing them with a producer that’s just a few miles, or even a few blocks, away.
The sprawling rooftop farm will be built on top of Liberty View Industrial Plaza (formerly known as Federal Building #2), an 8-story, 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse building in Sunset Park, an area with a large Chinatown and many grocery stores. Housed within a hydroponic greenhouse, the farm will be constructed by BrightFarms, Inc. in partnership with Salmar Properties LLC, the company in charge of redeveloping building below.
“This partnership and zoning initiative set an example for the nation on how to embrace rooftop urban agriculture,” said Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz. The revolutionary rooftop farm is part of the Bloomberg administration’s plan to revitalize Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront, but its sphere of influence could reach far past just one borough. “The partnership between BrightFarms and Salmar Properties to build the world’s largest rooftop farm is an exciting new model for sustainable, urban agriculture,” remarked New York City Council Speaker, Christine C. Quinn.
According to Brightfarms, the new urban farm will have the ability to grow up to 1 million pounds of local produce per year, including tomatoes, lettuces and herbs. Aside from feeding New Yorkers and creating jobs, the rooftop’s greenery could prevent up to 1.8 million gallons of storm water from going into local waterways. Plus, who wouldn’t prefer fresher and, in all likelihood, cheaper fruits and veggies that were grown just a few miles from your house over produce that was shipped across the country in a truck?