Gov. Northam announces new hydroponic greenhouse in Virginia Beach that will create 155 new jobs

Posted at 11:56 AM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 11:56:33-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Governor Northam announced Tuesday a hydroponic greenhouse coming to Virginia Beach which will create over 100 jobs.

According to a press release from Northam's office, Sunny Farms, LLC will invest $59.6 million to establish a state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse for production, workforce development, and research in the City of Virginia Beach.

The company’s location at Taylor Farms will also house One Matters Inc., a new 501(c)(3), not-for-profit entity that will offer workforce development opportunities for underserved populations. The facility will create 155 new jobs in the area.

“Securing this impactful new project is a reflection of our Commonwealth’s commitment to supporting innovative companies like Sunny Farms that are pushing boundaries in agricultural development,” said Governor Northam. “Together with One Matters and our higher education institutions, we are laying the foundation for significant long-term economic and workforce opportunities that will help lift up underserved Virginians in Hampton Roads. I commend all partners involved in making this announcement a reality and am confident Sunny Farms will grow and thrive at its home in Virginia Beach.”

Sunny Farms will build its operations in three phases over 3 years. They will build a 120,000-square-foot greenhouse (three acres under glass) with production focused on lettuce and other leafy greens in its first phase.

The second phase will expand the facility to 640,000 square feet (16 acres), and phase three will complete the facility at 1.2 million square feet (32 acres) total with capacity for leafy greens and a variety of vegetables.

Officials say once completed, the facility will be one of the largest greenhouses on the East Coast.

“Agriculture is integral to the DNA of Virginia Beach, so adding this new hydroponic greenhouse operation is a natural fit that will bring exciting benefits in addition to the food production capabilities,” said Virginia Beach Mayor Robert M. ‘Bobby’ Dyer. “The research that will be done in collaboration with Virginia Tech and the focus on workforce development opportunities, especially for veterans and people with disabilities, are thoughtful and creative ways Sunny Farms is expanding the impact of this investment.”