The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)

Green Circle Growers to add 250 jobs

State approves tax credit for $125M expansion

- By Richard Payerchin rpayerchin@morningjou­

Green Circle Growers Inc. expects to create 250 full time jobs with a $125 million expansion at its greenhouse­s in Camden Township outside of Oberlin.

On Aug. 23, the company and state agencies announced the project to generate $15 million a year in new payroll and keep $36.8 million in existing pay through the expansion.

Green Circle Growers, 51051 U.S. Route 20, is a wholesale operation that produces ornamental plants and other nursery products. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 1.624 percent, eightyear Job Creation Tax Credit for the project.

With 110 acres “under glass,” the company is one of the most significan­t wholesale greenhouse operations in the United States.

“Not only are we expanding our facilities and growing capabiliti­es by 30 acres, but we also are growing our team,” said C.J. van Wingerden, co-chief executive officer. “The expansion is designed to drive sales through an improved customer experience and accommodat­e the company’s vision to ‘have a Green Circle Growers plant in the line of sight of every consumer in North America.’”

The jobs created will include many at the executive level, including a mix of operations, informatio­n technology, senior leadership, administra­tion, management and more, van Wingerden said.

The indoor farming market is experienci­ng a significan­t consolidat­ion as larger greenhouse­s can serve large retail at a national level, according to an announceme­nt from JobsOhio, the state’s economic developmen­t agency.

“Rooted outside the City of Oberlin for more than 50 years, the family-owned Green Circle Growers sought to expand to accommodat­e the rising demand for ornamental plants and other nursery products,” the announceme­nt said. “Green Circle Growers will grow its location in Oberlin, where it currently conducts all significan­t functions at this location, including headquarte­rs, administra­tion, production, supply chain and logistics.

“A top employer in Lorain County, Green Circle Growers relies heavily on the Northeast Ohio Region’s talented workforce. As a leading provider of indoor plants for major retailers, the company also depends on the region’s favorable logistics.”

Team NEO, the Clevelandb­ased regional economic developmen­t agency, also announced the expansion.

“We and our partners at JobsOhio welcome Green Circle Growers’ commitment to growth in the northeast Ohio region, which speaks volumes about their confidence in our workforce,” said Bill Koehler, Team NEO CEO. “Plus, our central location allows Green Circle Growers to ship live plants efficientl­y.”

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