Purchasing & Tebuilding TSW

The Sunnyland Farms greenhouse in Estancia that burned to the ground last year will get another life.

Brighton, Colo.-based Tagawa Greenhouses Inc. has purchased the million-square-foot property and plans to rebuild and employ up to 50 people within three years. Pay may range from $20,000 to $40,000 a year.

Tagawa is a wholesale grower that supplies seedlings to major retailers such as Albertson’s, Krogers, Home Depot, Ace Hardware and Costco, as well as to independent garden centers.

“Not only will Tagawa be growing plants and flowers, but they are growing good jobs that are important to the people of Estancia and Moriarty,” said Rick Homans, state secretary of economic development, who announced the company’s plans Thursday.

The Estancia greenhouse closed in 2000 because of infected tomato plants, reopened under new owners in 2002, and had another change in ownership in July 2003 before a fire in September 2003 closed it down again.

Tagawa plans to reopen the greenhouse this spring with 25 full-time workers and up to 60 seasonal workers, said Bill Kluth, development manager.

“Our long-term goal is to be growing product to ship … to Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama,” Kluth said.
But the property’s resurrection will begin with spring pansies and petunias that will be shipped to the Denver area. The wholesale grower plans to remodel the greenhouse during the summer, adding specialized equipment to expand production.
“The climate in the area is good to grow our plants, and the friendly people of the Estancia Valley will be a great work force,” Kluth said.

Tagawa contacted former owner John Stockwell directly and negotiated the sale without help from the state. The company is just learning about state incentives for companies, Kluth said.

When the greenhouse reopens, it will once again be the largest, employing the most people, in the Estancia Valley, said Myra Pancrazio, executive director of the Estancia Valley Economic Development Association.