Two farming operations with plans to build and expand hydroponic greenhouse operations in South Bend will receive tax breaks from the city. The South Bend Tribune reports the common council on Monday approved tax abatement proposals for JEM Farms and Greenleaf Holdco.
As Inside INdiana Business reported last month, the two companies plan to collectively invest nearly $260 million to expand their high-tech greenhouse operations.
The two companies are planning to build large hydroponic growing facilities on the southwest side of the city to grow fresh produce. The publication says both will receive 100% abatement from personal property taxes for five years and 100% abatement from real estate taxes for five years. The rate will gradually subside and come to an end after the ninth year.
“This is one of the largest single investments in the community in quite some time,” Jeff Rea, president and chief executive officer of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce, said to the council. “It’s a great generator of new jobs and capital investment, and we think could be a real catalyst to other activity here.”
Greenleaf already operates one, four-acre greenhouse in South Bend, growing a variety of lettuces, under its Pure Green Farms brand. Chief Executive Officer Joe McGuire told IIB he intends to invest $12 million on an additional greenhouse and $68 million on equipment for the hydroponic operation.
“We’re just forecasting ahead to make sure that we don’t get caught with a completely sold-out greenhouse and nowhere to go for more product,” said McGuire.
JEM Farms, which is headquartered and operates hydroponic operations in Ontario, says it intends to spend about $60 million building greenhouses and $118 million on equipment needed to grow strawberries and tomatoes.
Click here to access the South Bend Tribune coverage.