Construction on a $209 million cannabis cultivation and manufacturing facility got underway with a groundbreaking ceremony held at former knife and TV antenna factory on a 90.7-acre parcel located in Ellenville and the town of Wawarsing. The project is by Cresco Labs, which currently operates 21 cannabis growing and processing facilities in 10 states. It also operates marijuana dispensaries and holds 51 retail licenses to sell cannabis products.
Cresco plans to use 430,000 square feet for growing and processing marijuana. It employs 2,900 people nationwide and plans to create 375 new jobs when the Hudson Valley facility is fully operational. It plans to begin operations at the site in the spring of next year with 75 employees. Cresco estimates that it will generate sales in New York state of $75 million to $100 million per year.
The property was home to the former Avnet Channel Master manufacturing facility that specialized in TV antennas. Also located there was knife manufacturer Schrade Cutlery. Approximately 84.1 acres of the site are in the town of Wawarsing and approximately 6.6 acres are in the Village of Ellenville.
The former manufacturing building at the southwestern portion of the site has been torn down to the concrete slab floor. The northeastern part of the site remains undeveloped with woods, meadows and wetlands. Cresco estimates that fully developing the site for both growing and processing cannabis will take about 21 months.
The facility to be created will include: a nursery and grow rooms for cannabis plants; a drying area; a production area for the manufacturing of various cannabis products; a kitchen; administrative offices; conference areas.
Cresco said that the project meets zoning and land use regulations since the site was previously used for manufacturing. It estimated land acquisition cost at $7.5 million, new building construction of 380,000 square feet at $154.6 million, infrastructure work at $25.8 million and manufacturing equipment costs of $20.6 million.
Cresco has been operating a 1,000-square-feet facility in the town of Wallkill in Orange County that employs 10 people. It said it was encouraged to make the move to the Ellenville and Wawarsing site because of physical and environmental constraints at the Wallkill site, but plans to continue operating in Wallkill.
During the Oct. 27 groundbreaking ceremony, Rep. Pat Ryan, who was formerly Ulster Count Executive, said, “We’re going to make sure that as we move Ellenville and Ulster County and the Hudson Valley into the 21st century economy that Ellenville is really at the forefront of that rather than being, sometimes feeling like, often later to arrive shall we say. None of this would have happened without everybody really coming together, everybody giving a little bit.”