Yet the ability of its promoters to sucker government and other investors is striking:
These factors, however, have not prevented New Jersey’s government dreamers from subsidizing what hopes to be the world’s largest-producing vertical farm. As the New York Times noted on Tuesday, the city of Newark and the state of New Jersey, both heavily indebted, have provided $9 million in grants and tax credits to build one in the city’s Ironbound district. Further financing will come from the urban investment arm of Goldman Sachs. The farm will be built by the RBH Group on the site of a former steel plant, and operated by the company AeroFarms. Along with being viewed as a job-creation and neighborhood revitalization tool, the indoor facility will grow crops using LED bulbs and aeroponics. Perhaps in an ode to the smart set who embrace such ideas, the farm will grow two million pounds of arugula and kale.
The total project cost will be arounf $39 million to create around an acre of indoor farmland - a place where growing is promoted with expensive (to install and to run) aeroponics and lamps. Right now farmland in New Jersey is selling for around $10-15,000 per acre.