North Avenue Capital Finances a $15 Million Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan for Texas Green Star – Hydroponics
North Avenue Capital (NAC), one of the leading providers of USDA-backed commercial loans, is helping Texas Green Star (TGS) convert a 320-acre former commercial nursery facility into an innovative, state-of-the-art hydroponics growing operation with a focus on producing fresh leafy greens.
Located north of Dallas in Sanger, Texas, a city with a population of fewer than 10,000 residents, this $15 million Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan will equip TGS to put a previously abandoned property to work producing nutritious vegetables year-round while avoiding the challenges that traditional agricultural producers face when growing out in the elements.
Obstacles such as temperature, weather, insects, and other environmental issues often create limited annual growing windows for outdoor vegetable production. By providing the financial means to make improvements to the large, once vacant facility, NAC’s investment will facilitate the acquisition of the necessary machinery and equipment for Texas Green Star to deploy the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) hydroponic system and soilless culture.
NFT largely avoids the problem of “grit” contamination that occurs in commercially prepared salads that use soil-grown plants. With an increasing consumer-focus on food safety, hydroponic food production has grown in popularity and scalability supported by technological advancements that enable companies like TGS to conserve water, grow year-round, and provide consistent quality and availability of leafy vegetables.
NAC’s loan will not only provide brand new equipment to TGS but also the critical working capital needed to seed a start-up operation of this magnitude. Cesar Rodriguez, CEO and Co-Founder of Texas Green Star, has over 35 years of experience in the international agri-business industry and will lead a team of 48 employees to produce and distribute locally grown agricultural products to consumers across the country, including communities that have historically lacked access to nutritious food.
With the help of North Avenue Capital, Texas Green Star will implement a food safety program to guarantee foodborne disease-free produce, while also offering high quality fresh greens to the Texas market and beyond. TGS is already making preparations to achieve its certification as an organic producer once the operation is underway.
Production of leafy greens will begin in midyear after the new equipment is online and improvements to the existing nursery are complete. Texas Green Star plans to achieve full production capacity by the end of the year and will partner with local school districts to provide healthy food alternatives within their communities.