MEREDA Panel: Vertical Harvest plants a seed in Downtown Westbrook

Last month, at the Maine Real Estate and Development (MEREDA) hosted “Morning Menu” roundtable, Moderator, Craig Young, Partner & Broker at The Boulos Company, and MEREDA Vice President, talked with an esteemed panel about how vertical farming is changing the landscape in an urban, sustainable and profitable model. Panelists included Daniel Stevenson, Director of Economic and Community Development at the City of Westbrook, Nona Yehia, Co-Founder & CEO of Vertical Harvest, and Greg Day, President of The Day Brothers, LLC.

The event, titled: “Vertical Harvest plants a seed in Downtown Westbrook” was held on December 16, 2021, at the Holiday Inn by the Bay. Below is an overview of this event.

Recap provided by the City of Westbrook’s Economic Development Department. 

The City of Westbrook will soon be growing produce a little differently. Vertical Harvest plans to open their second location in the United States in Westbrook, Maine. Vertical Harvest Farms is a controlled environment agriculture venture that builds farms in urban centers to provide employment to the underserved, highly nutritious produce at scale to food deserts, and a stable return to investors.

This exciting new mixed-used development project will be breaking ground later this winter in the heart of the city’s downtown. Redeveloping a public surface parking lot, Vertical Harvest is a public-private partnership with the City of Westbrook and The Day Brothers, LLC. This master-planned is over 300,000 square feet, comprised of a vertical farm, 60 residential apartments and a multi-story municipal parking garage structure with ground floor commercial space.

Slated to produce over 1 million pounds of produce annually, Vertical Harvest will grow and provide fresh nutritious produce locally to Maine schools, hospitals, restaurants, grocery stores, and consumers year-round. This business model supports the local food system and meets many local and State government goals including Maine being an Employment First State.

With its innovative program and sustainable approach to agriculture and design, this dynamic and world class project continues the revitalization of downtown Westbrook and shall be a leader in the Controlled Environmental Agriculture industry.

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