After working for more than a decade to launch its first social enterprise, RecoveryPark is poised to break ground in November on a commercial-scale hydroponics greenhouse that will create jobs and eventually, equity ownership for Detroiters facing employment barriers.

The $10 million project on East Palmer Street near Chene will bring farming — albeit a different type — back to a part of the city that was once home to flower and vegetable seed producer D.M. Ferry & Co. and establish Detroit’s first commercial-scale hydroponics grower.

The Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, which made a $400,000 program-related investment loan to the nonprofit in 2016, is in the process of looking at the conversion terms, said Meredith Freeman, who is serving as interim executive director of the Fisher Foundation while Executive Director Doug Stewart is on sabbatical. “I really applaud them for their commitment not only to the city and the neighborhood but to keeping that social aspect in place around making sure they are employing those who have challenges to employment. … they’ve never let that go,” she said.

“It could have been easier business-wise to let that go, but they made that commitment, stuck to it, and we are really happy to support that.”

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