The Real Deal New York

Farms eye rooftop space in outer boroughs

February 27, 2012 10:00AM

There are thousands of acres of rooftop space in New York City where growing farm operations are looking to expand. According to the New York Daily News, groups such as Gotham Greens, Brooklyn Grange and BrightFarms are looking for elevated space where they can grow crops to sell to local restaurants and supermarkets.

The businesses can be attractive for building owners who can charge rent on previously unused space and save on energy costs as the soil insulates buildings.
But many of the farms have specific requirements. For example, Brooklyn Grange, which wants to open five farms in addition to the 40,000-square-foot one they operate atop the Standard Motor Products building in Long Island City, requires at least 30,000 square feet of rooftop space on buildings no taller than 15 stories that can support 1.2 million pounds of soil.

Because of the cost of ground-level land, and the constant threat posed by developers, the business are seeking to utilize some of the thousands of acres of suitable city roof space, primarily in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The Daily News said the farms are celebrated for fostering a sustainable economy. [NYDN]