Numerous other indoor vertical farmers, municipalities wanting to rejuvenize opportunity zones and organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people re-entering society after serving time reached out to Second Chances Farm to explore partnership opportunities. Interest came from regions across the nation, from the hot deserts of Nevada to a shining midwestern city to the wild New Jersey pine barrens.
There are a number of moving parts to the construction of an indoor vertical farm, i.e., sufficient land or facility with many thousands of square feet; regulatory approval; large amounts of money, and more. The company had deals on the table that were put on temporary hold because of the COVID crisis. Those will move forward when the virus has been eradicated.
Second chances farm Philadelphia
In September, 2020, Second Chances Farm executed an agreement with Philadelphia developer Michael Bailkin, who will invest the capital needed to open a 20,000 to 30,000 sq. ft. farm, said that it will have enough space to eventually expand to 100,000+/- sq. ft. The farm will be part of the North Station redevelopment of several million sq. ft. of vacant buildings and land near the Temple University campus being led by Bailkin’s Arete Group. Second Chances Farm, which will be an equity partner, will manage and staff Second Chances Farm Philadelphia. The new farm is slated to open in late 2021.
Second Chances Farm Hokes Bluff, Alabama
Lee Harrison and his wife, LeeAnn, are the founders of Gardens on Air, an indoor vertical farm located in Hokes Bluff, Etowah County, Alabama. Operating in 3,000 sq. ft. of a 20,000 sq. ft. former grocery store, Gardens on Air grows chemical-free produce and herbs harvested and sold locally. They are a Certified Woman-Owned, Certified Natural Grown, Vegan Certified, and a Non-GMO Project business.
Lee traveled up to Delaware from Alabama on February 28 to see Second Chances Farm’s operations firsthand. A retired Alabama State police officer and a man of faith, Lee was particularly interested in the company's innovative approach to ending recidivism by providing employment, mentorship and entrepreneurial opportunity to previously incarcerated individuals. He knows the value of giving second chances to people and has seen firsthand how returning citizens are ostracized by society once they’re released from prison. He’s also witnessed many success stories of how good people can rebuild their lives if given the opportunity, trust and respect.
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