10 Apr Tomato growing facility taking shape in Town of Ontario
Ontario, N.Y. (WHAM) – A tomato greenhouse project first proposed in the Town of Webster is moving ahead a few miles away in the Town of Ontario.
Intergrow Greenhouses President Dirk Biemans said he’s happy to be in the town.
“People in the Town of Ontario and the town board were very positive about the project, so we were able to start fairly quick at this site,” he said.
Friday, 13WHAM got an inside look at the progress. The steel beams are in place; the walls will soon be up and the glass roof is nearly complete. The intergrow facility is taking shape.
The company grows a variety of tomatoes to sell to retailers throughout the northeast. An estimated 15 million pounds of tomatoes will be produced there every year to keep up with customer demand.
“We’re locally grown in New York State year-round,” said Biemans. “We’ll have tomatoes year-round out of this facility out of this facility versus if you buy tomatoes out of Mexico in the wintertime, for example.”
Intergrow broke ground on the 25-acre facility in April after a year of delays and push back from building in the Town of Webster.
“There was an argument whether this was farming or not,” Biemans said. “We didn’t want to go into a legal battle, and delaying the project even further so we found this property in the town.”
Town Supervisor Frank Robusto saw the value in the company saying Ontario welcomed Intergrow with open arms.
“We’re excited,” said Supervisor Robusto. “Ontario is open for business. These companies offer high quality jobs, making Ontario, Wayne County and surrounding areas a great place to work.”
The supervisor said tax incentives will help with economic development.
“It’s growing momentum with the economy improving. We have a lot of businesses down there relocating and expanding,” said Robusto. “Especially when you add to your industrial tax base, you’ll get the ancillary services – the restaurants, the residents, the shopping.”
There may also be a payoff for your taste buds.
“In my opinion, the greenhouse tomato tastes better than field-grown tomatoes,” said Biemans.
The facility is expected to create 80 permanent jobs when completed by the end of the year.
Intergrow is hiring for all sorts of positions now and plans to expand soon. Head to Intergrow to apply.
The company already has a facility in Albion in Orleans County and one in Fillmore in Allegheny County.