The Finance Authority of Maine has approved a total of nearly $50 million in financing for two startups — Vertical Harvest L3C, which plans to launch a hydroponic greenhouse in Westbrook, and a Portland provider of 'digital therapeutics', MedRhythms Inc.
Vertical Harvest will receive $45 million in conduit bond financing. The company plans to produce over 1 million pounds of produce annually, and FAME's funds will be used to finance a portion of the construction costs to build a 70,000-square-foot Westbrook farming facility. The project is expected to ultimately create approximately 50 full- and part-time jobs, many of which are expected to be performed by individuals with disabilities.
The project is part of a larger master-planned development that is expected to include affordable housing and parking in downtown Westbrook. Because the project will treat wastewater as an exempt facility, all or a portion of the bonds will be eligible for tax-exempt treatment under federal tax law.
“We appreciate FAME’s support for the agricultural component of this project,” said Greg Day, president of TDB LLC, developer of the project. “This master-planned program establishes a compelling business model for food production in an urban core that our firm is expanding to other communities throughout New England and the nation.”
“We are pleased to support MedRhythms’ plans to advance their digital therapeutic for stroke rehabilitation, as well as additional research and development,” said David Daigler, chair of the FAME board. “Digital therapeutics is a cutting-edge field that can help to improve the everyday lives of Mainers and other patients who will benefit from the company’s technology. Digital therapeutics are the future of health care, and we appreciate the support of FAME,” said Brian Harris, CEO and founder of MedRhythms.
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