Fifth Season:

Developer tries to cultivate new life for Braddock vertical farm after its sudden closing

When vertical farm robotics startup Fifth Season abruptly shut down its Braddock plant last fall, the building owner says it was left with a mess to contend with — one it’s still trying to clean up.

Not only did RDC spend months removing greens from the 60,000-square-foot facility, it was saddled with a structure filled with high-tech growing equipment utilizing robotics, artificial intelligence, and data analysis. And no one to work it.

“All of the vegetables and plants they were growing they just left,” RDC president Shawn Fox said. “And we had to go through an extreme process to clean them all up. And we had to work with all of the creditors they left in the lurch.”

Now Green Tree-based RDC is trying to sow a new beginning for the plant. But whether that involves the kind of vertical farming Fifth Season cultivated in Braddock remains to be seen.

Mr. Fox said his firm is willing to give such an operation another shot. But if RDC can’t find someone to take over the plant by early July, it will move to repurpose it into a food manufacturing or cold storage facility.

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