A Brooklyn-based agriculture company is expanding into Queens with the launch of a 60,000 square-foot hydroponic facility in Hollis. NY1’s Tanya Klich filed the following report.
Rows upon rows of leafy greens now cover the top floor of what used to be a toy factory in Hollis, Queens. Inside, Gotham Greens is launching its first solar-powered greenhouse in the borough.
"This facility just opened so we're really proud to be now delivering product across NYC and the tri-state area, fresh locally-produced greens," says Viraj Puri, Co-founder of Gotham Greens.
Not to everyday customers, but to restaurants and other local retailers. Its items range from butter lettuce to basil. Up until now Gotham Greens’ clients had been getting product from its two urban greenhouses in Brooklyn, but that will soon change.
“Eventually we'll transfer to the [Queens] location. There's much more, convenience wise, with the delivery at the moment,” says Ricardo Gomez, a produce buyer at Food Cellar in Long Island City.
Gotham Greens was able to bring its operation to Hollis through a $1 million grant provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority last year. The agency promotes projects that incorporate energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources in an effort to expand New York’s clean energy economy.
“Being out here in the Hollis area in the greater Jamaica district we found an opportunity to contribute to economic development and job creation,” said Puri.
So far, Gotham Greens has created 40 full-time jobs in Queens.
Puri says the greenhouse is living proof that city gardening could develop into a viable industry that could thrive on a commercial scale.