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Indoor farming firm plans St. Louis facility, its largest to date

Though the exact location has not been chosen, its placement in the area will "provide AeroFarms with rapid access to retail partners throughout the Midwest"
Credit: SLBJ
An example of a vertical farm by AeroFarms.

ST. LOUIS — A high-tech indoor farming firm says it will expand to St. Louis with a 150,000-square-foot facility, marking a win for the area's agriculture technology community.

AeroFarms, a Newark, New Jersey, company founded in 2014, said the indoor vertical farm will be its largest to date. Though the exact location has not been chosen, its placement in the area will "provide AeroFarms with rapid access to retail partners throughout the Midwest," it said.

A company spokesman didn't immediately respond to questions about possible investment totals, employee counts or a construction timeline.

Jason Hall, CEO of Greater St. Louis Inc., the private sector business group, said in a note Thursday to its members that several sites in Missouri and Illinois are under consideration for the facility. AeroFarms will issue a request for proposals for construction services after it has picked a site, Hall said.

"Consistent with our ethical protocols for projects, we are working to assist the client in a seamless way in partnership with local sites under consideration based on its search parameters set forth by the client," Hall said. "A win anywhere in St. Louis metro is a win for St. Louis."

AeroFarms, a Certified B Corporation that's planning to go public later this month via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Spring Valley Acquisition Corp., grows plants and food via a vertical farming process. The company, which pitches more than 550 varieties to restaurants and groceries on its website, says its techniques can yield up to 390 times greater productivity per square foot annually, compared with traditional field farming, while using up to 95% less water and no pesticides.

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