ROCHELLE, Ill. (AP) - A New York-based farming company has broken ground in northern Illinois on a hydroponic greenhouse that officials say should be operational next year. BrightFarms Inc. on Thursday began construction on a $10 million, 160,000-square-foot greenhouse in Rochelle. The facility will produce more than 1 million pounds of salad greens, tomatoes and basil annually. Mariano's, a division of Milwaukee-based Roundy's Supermarkets Inc. will be the greenhouse's primary customer.
BrightFarms CEO Paul Lightfoot says construction of the facility will create 100 construction jobs and about two dozen greenhouse jobs. Lightfoot said Rochelle was chosen as the site for the greenhouse because it "was ready to go." He added that roads, sewer and power all run to the site, which he called "build-ready."