UPSIDE Foods to open $141 million cultivated meat production plant in Glenview

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

UPSIDE Foods will build its first commercial-scale production facility in Glenview, a major milestone for cultivated meat production. The company will invest at least $141 million and create a minimum of 75 new jobs.

In June, the Berkeley, California-based company announced completion of the U.S. federal regulatory approval process allowing it to bring cultivated chicken product to market.

“We’re excited that the next chapter of our journey towards building a more sustainable, humane, and abundant future will be in Illinois,” Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of UPSIDE Foods, said in a statement. “Establishing our plant in this region allows us to tap into a remarkable talent pool, a thriving innovation ecosystem, and a notable history of meat production. We are grateful for the collaboration and partnership that we have built at the state, county, and local levels in our site selection process.”

The 187,000-sq. ft. structure in Glenview will open with production of ground cultivated chicken products, with plans to expand to other species and whole-textured formats in the future. Millions of pounds of cultivated meat products will be produced at the new facility, with the potential to expand to over 30 million pounds – a significant step toward creating a more humane, sustainable, and resilient food system. Cultivated meat is an innovative solution to helping solve the climate crisis by ensuring animals aren’t harmed while using less land, water, and emissions during production.

As one of the world’s largest and most advanced commercial cultivated meat facilities, the state-of-the-art facility in Glenview will house cultivators with capacities of up to 100,000 liters. UPSIDE Foods’ cultivated meat is already being served to diners in California.

As part of the State’s comprehensive incentive package, the company received one of the first Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) for Startups tax credits. The company was supported by the new EDGE for Start Ups program – which tailors incentives to start-up companies.

“The State of Illinois is proud to welcome UPSIDE Foods – the first cultivated meat company to receive FDA approval – to their new home in Glenview,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “UPSIDE Foods’ new state-of-the art facility will create jobs, invest in the community and help further solidify Illinois’ reputation as a global leader in food processing and food innovation.”

the company received one of the first Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) for Startups tax credits, which stipulates a goal of making a $141 million investment and creating 75 new full-time jobs. A link to the full agreement can be found here.

The EDGE program was expanded to include startups in 2022 to spur additional investment for newer companies that are in their growth stage. In order to do this, EDGE for Start Ups provides a benefit that allow companies to reduce their payroll withholding instead of their Illinois corporate income tax credit. This enables start-up companies without corporate income tax liabilities to maximize their incentive to reinvest into their expansion project.

“The Village of Glenview is excited to welcome UPSIDE Foods to the Dermody Logistics Campus. UPSIDE Foods will be a great addition to the Village’s robust and growing local economy,” said Mike Jenny, Glenview Village President.

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