The city is searching for an ambitious urban farmer to tackle the 200,000-square-foot space atop a Hunts Point food distribution center, and Canadian company Lufa Farms has its eye on the prize. In a conversation earlier this week, Lufa Vice President Kurt Lynn told us that the company, which built and runs a rooftop greenhouse in Montreal, want to expand to NYC by the end of the year, and the Hunts Point location would be "the sweet spot of all sweet spots." The EDC is currently accepting proposals for the site, and the city will decide some time this summer who will be growing greens in the Bronx. If Lufa wins the bid, the company would construct a controlled-environment and hydroponic greenhouse similar to, but much larger than, their structure in Montreal. Lufa is also looking at sites in Brooklyn and Queens, but "everything hinges on Hunts Pont."
For Lufa, New York City is ripe with opportunity to implement new urban farms. Lynn said, "From an architectural perspective, we want to intercept bigger residential communities." He imagines serving high-rise condo buildings with their own rooftop greenhouses, in NYC and beyond. We can't really imagine One57 being topped with a farm (the person who dropped $90 million on the penthouse probably wouldn't go for that), but maybe someday! Lynn also voiced a less radical idea, one that at least this BurgDaddy would probably get behind, that food supply and distribution centers (be they farms, greenhouses, or quality supermarkets) should be considered in urban planning just like public transportation; if a neighborhood is growing and you need to install a new subway stop, put some food there, too.
· Massive 200,000 Sq. Ft. Rooftop Farm to Sprout in the Bronx [Curbed]
· Lufa Farms [official]
Image courtesy Lufa Farms shows the company's Montreal greenhouse