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September 2, 2022

Construction on Vertical Harvest has begun in Westbrook

Vertical Harvest Courtesy / Vertical Harvest A rendering of the planned Vertical Harvest in Westbrook.

Vertical Harvest has begun construction on its four-story, 70,000-square-foot building in downtown Westbrook. The construction started in May, and as of Sept. 1, all four stories of steel are up, and the roof is being topped off this week.

Westbrook was chosen because of the enthusiasm and outstanding partnership offered by the city and its leaders like Mayor Mike Foley and Economic Development Director Dan Stevenson. They also have long-standing relationships with Maine businesses like Johnny's Select Seeds and PB Technique.

While it is a partnership with Westbrook, the farm construction is will be a separate operation from the structure's parking garage and residential units. 

“We have felt a kinship with Maine for quite some time,” said CEO Nona Yehia, co-founder of Jackson, Wyo.-based Vertical Harvest. “At our beginning stages 10 years ago, Vertical Harvest [in] Jackson engaged the same engineer as Backyard Farms in Madison, Maine. Wyoming and Maine have more in common than just a four-to-five month grow season and drastic seasonal climates. They have polar rural and urban areas, there is deep-rooted respect for the environment, the farming and food communities are a source of pride, and there is a sense of responsibility to serve the job and food insecure population. With our second location for Vertical Harvest, we feel honored to become a part of this special state and Westbrook community.”

The Vertical Farms Westbrook location is expected to produce over 2 million pounds of microgreens annually and provide fresh produce to schools, hospitals, restaurants and consumers.

Vertical Harvest will generally not compete with local Maine growers, Yehia said. Instead, the farm reduces the need for out-of-state produce imports into Maine. This will represent over 90% of Maine’s consumption and the out-of-state jobs these imports benefit, thereby helping to strengthen the overall business base of Maine’s economy.

“This exceptional mixed-use project, anchored by Vertical Harvest’s four-story greenhouse, will provide significant private commercial investment and job creation, expanded residential presence, and expansion of free public parking to support growth and development of other businesses in our downtown,” said Foley. “We are excited about the partnership and welcome Vertical Harvest to the City of Westbrook.”

The Westbrook site is projected to open in fall 2023.

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May 26, 2023

I am so excited! I can not wait until it opens! I live in Scarborough, Maine and want to work there and or buy from there and yes! Hooray! I am very interested in Vertical architecture for residences that includes businesses and produce grown on site.

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