Gotham Greens, an indoor agriculture firm that uses technology and renewable power to boost yields, has expanded in Pullman, opening a 100,000-square-foot greenhouse that is the company’s largest.
The company has been in the neighborhood since 2015, when it opened on the roof of the Method soap factory at 720 E. 111th St. Viraj Puri, CEO of Gotham Greens, said the company quickly needed to expand.
“The demand far exceeded the supply. We soon realized that in order to grow our business, we needed to grow our real estate,” he said.
So it built the new greenhouse nearby, at 10636 S. Woodlawn Ave., on part of the old Ryerson Steel property. Puri said the two facilities will allow Gotham to increase year-round sales of leafy greens and herbs to grocery stores and restaurants.
He said the expansion will double his local count of full-time jobs to 100. Gotham has six greenhouses in the U.S.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker praised the expansion in a prepared statement. “Agriculture is a vital component of our state’s economy and I’m pleased to see opportunities for urban agriculture—like this greenhouse expansion,” Pritzker said. “Investing in innovative solutions will keep Illinois at the forefront for decades to come and help create good jobs that can support a family.”
Gotham uses a proprietary system to increase yields and claims it uses 95% less water than conventional farming. Puri said the company employs advanced glass and glazing materials to maximize sunlight, even during cloudy winters. With greenhouses covering about 11 acres in the U.S., Gotham has achieved production equal to 400 acres of regular farms, he said.
Puri said the Pullman site, just off the Bishop Ford Freeway, affords quick access to customers throughout the region. With the added production, he hopes to increase sales in nearby states.
Gotham’s retail products include Pullman Green Leaf and Windy City Crunch. It also produces salad dressings and pesto dips.
It acquired the property from Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, the developer of the former Ryerson site at 111th Street west of the freeway. The site includes a Walmart and a distribution center for Whole Foods.
Puri said Gotham Greens is unrelated to Gotham Green Partners, a private equity firm that invests in cannabis.