Nicotra Group Finds Partner to Run Large, Organic Rooftop Farm

Sourced from Staten Island Live

The Nicotra Group has entered into a partnership with Brooklyn Grange to manage a 40,000-square-foot organic rooftop farm at Corporate Commons Three, which is being built in Bloomfield.

Brooklyn Grange -- a leader in rooftop farming -- will design and operate the farm, which will sit atop an eight-story office building being constructed on an 8.5-acre site inside The Teleport.

"We signed a contract with Brooklyn Grange last week," said Richard Nicotra, chairman and co-owner of The Nicotra Group with his wife, Lois.

"[Brooklyn Grange] will be involved in planning and designing the rooftop farm, and they will be [growing] all of the vegetables. We also have a management contract with them, where they will manage the farm. ... We are very excited about this."

Said Gwen Schantz, Brooklyn Grange co-founder and COO: "My teammates and I at Brooklyn Grange have become leading experts in urban agriculture and rooftop farming, but in order to do our work, we need forward-thinking landlords who see the value of food-producing green spaces. The Nicotras have a great vision for this building, and they're committing to it by investing in this rooftop farm project."

"This is the first time that we've seen a developer put a rooftop farm of this scale on a new construction. ...They clearly love what they do, and they're eager to bring something new to Staten Island that will support the local community and environment," she added.

Lois Nicotra said there also will be an educational component to the operation.

"[Brooklyn Grange] will be setting aside an area for a herb garden that the children will get involved with [on the Teleport campus]. They can see vegetables grow from beginning to end," she said, noting the culinary department at the Lavelle Charter School on the campus as well as the pre-K program onsite.

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