Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that agricultural company Intergrow Holdings, Inc. will expand its operations to Webster, creating 100 new jobs in the Finger Lakes Region. The expansion will include building two new, 25-acre state-of-the-art commercial greenhouses to grow produce year-round for the Northeast market. The company’s expansion, highlighted by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul in Rochester earlier today, advances a key component of “Finger Lakes Forward” – increasing the region’s agriculture and food production.
“Our strategy to drive economic growth across New York has focused on investing in regional potential,” Governor Cuomo said. “By expanding its operations in the Finger Lakes, Intergrow is driving job growth in a vital sector of our economy while offering New Yorkers greater access to high-quality, locally grown produce.”
“With another day comes another positive announcement about 100 more jobs coming to the area,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, the Finger Lakes Forward plan is committed to further growing food production in the region to sustain and grow New York’s position as an industry leader.”
Intergrow, which also operates in Albion, will build two new, 25-acre state-of-the-art greenhouses at the intersection of Salt and State Roads in Webster. The produce grown will provide local, year-round, hydroponically-grown tomatoes, an alternative to produce that requires warmer, distant climates. The greenhouses will utilize state-of-the-art and sustainable growing practices, and product packaging will be performed on site. Construction of the first greenhouse is scheduled to be completed next fall. The second greenhouse is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
The first 50 employees at the Intergrow site in Webster are expected to be hired by July 2018; the remaining 50 employees will be hired before June 30, 2021. Empire State Development, New York State’s economic development agency, will provide up to $750,000 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits and a $750,000 capital grant in return for job creation commitments. Rochester Gas & Electric will be providing a $400,000 grant to help offset electric infrastructure costs. Farm Credit East is providing a farm credit loan. The County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency has offered mortgage and sales tax abatements, as well as a 10-year standard PILOT.
Dirk Biemans, CEO of Intergrow Holdings said: “We continue to see a growing demand for locally grown, year-round produce from our customers and are excited to stay in Western New York where we have found an opportunity in Webster for a greenhouse project to produce this product.”
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said: “With these two new greenhouses, Intergrow will be able to expand its successful tomato production in New York State, create new jobs and supply fresh, healthy vegetables to residents of the region.”
NYSEG and RG&E President and CEO Mark S. Lynch said: “NYSEG and RG&E have a decades-long history of supporting growing businesses including agriculture, as well as universities and other institutions, through our robust economic development grant programs. The Webster greenhouse project supports job growth, capital investment, and strengthens the local economy, making it a deserving recipient of a $400,000 RG&E economic development grant. This project is also attractive to us from another perspective: its design incorporates sustainability and that aligns with our focus on environmental stewardship. We congratulate our economic development partners who were essential to making this project a reality and we wish Dirk Biemans, CEO of Intergrow Webster, Inc., great success.”
Greater Rochester Enterprise President and CEO Mark S. Peterson said: “Intergrow’s decision to further expand its greenhouse operations in the Greater Rochester, NY region underscores the depth of agriculture and food production resources that are a cornerstone of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council’s strategic plan for economic growth. Past positive experiences in our region as well as a qualified site with the necessary gas and electric supply helped insure Intergrow expanded in our community.”
Monroe County Executive Supervisor Cheryl Dinolfo said: “Intergrow Webster is a leader in sustainability and a showcase for locally grown produce here in Monroe County. With at least 100 new jobs created, the glowing lights of two new greenhouses are not the only bright spot of this project. Intergrow’s commitment to our region truly represents a win-win for the families of our community.”
Senator Michael Nozzolio said: “Agriculture is the backbone of our local economy here in the Greater Finger Lakes Region and the expansion of Intergrow’s greenhouses in Webster, thanks to the work of Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development, will only further cultivate the booming agricultural industry by creating new jobs and economic development for our area.”
Webster Town Supervisor Ronald Nesbitt said: “This is great for Webster as it brings jobs to the area. We are on the cusp of new agricultural farming practices with hydroponics in New York State.”
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The state has already invested more than $3.4 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating “Finger Lakes Forward” with a $500 million state investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The state’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.