( Courtesy Fifth Season )

Indoor farming company Fifth Season plans to open a 60,000-square-foot vertical farm in Braddock, Pa., a former steel town near Pittsburgh.

The opening is set for early 2020 for the facility, which will grow lettuces, spinach, kale, arugula and herbs, according to a news release from Fifth Season, formerly known as RoBotany Ltd.

The company developed its greenhouse technology with two research and development vertical farms in Pittsburgh. Its products have been sold at Whole Foods Markets and other retailers, as well as Pittsburgh restaurants. The company has raised more than $35 million from private investors with ties to Carnegie Mellon University, where it incubated at the Swartz Center Entrepreneurship.

"The goal through our first three years of development was to prove we could bring fresh food to urban customers at prices competitive with conventionally grown produce," Austin Webb, co-founder and CEO said, said in the release.

"We have developed fully integrated, proprietary technology to completely control the hydroponic growing process and optimize key factors such as energy, labor usage and crop output," Webb said, resulting in lower costs and higher efficiencies than traditional vertical farms.

The Braddock farm will produce more than 500,000 pounds of lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula and herbs from its 25,000-square-foot grow room during the first full year of operation, according to the release.
 

 
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