BrightFarms is asking local residents to suggest the best, unused space in the metro area for a greenhouse the company plans to use to supply Homeland grocery stores with fresh produce.
The New York-based company, which announced the contest Thursday, is offering a $1,000 cash prize for the best site proposal. The space must be 50,000 square feet or larger, centrally located and have access to “waste heat,” such as near a power plant, data center, brewery, bakery or other business so the heat can be captured and used to heat the greenhouse, said BrightFarms spokeswoman Kate Siskel.
Last spring, BrightFarms announced an agreement to supply Homeland stores with locally grown produce, with plans to build a greenhouse in the parking lot of the store at N May Avenue and Britton Road. The company discovered the site wasn't feasible — which is why an alternative is being sought.
BrightFarms conducted a similar contest in North Carolina and is now negotiating leases based on those responses.
“It's a challenge for us to find the right location for the greenhouse,” Siskel said. “We figure nobody knows better than the people who live there.”
A typical BrightFarms greenhouse can grow up to 500,000 pounds of fresh lettuce, tomatoes and herbs per year, plus create 60 jobs, the company said.
Contest entries will be accepted through Dec. 11 at www.BrightFarms.com.
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It's a challenge for us to find the right location for the greenhouse.”