Urban agriculture: Is the sky the limit for vertical-farming real estate?
Whether it be in a reconfigured air-raid shelter 33 metres below the ground in south London, in a converted office building in Singapore, or in a building in Dubai — startups around the world are now growing closely-stacked racks of vegetables under LED lights, in a bid to bring consumers fresher produce with a lower carbon footprint than generally available at their supermarket.
As anxiety about climate change and the vulnerability of extended supply chains grows, the possibilities raised by vertical farms have captured the imagination of a number of large venture capitalists and private equity funds. But is there something for real estate investors, too, in vertical farming? While it is still too early to tell whether these high-tech, high-rise growing machines will become a real estate asset class in their own right, some investors are starting to take a serious look at vertical farming as a possible new asset category.
Advantages of the great indoors