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Owatonna tomato-producer Bushel Boy will break ground on a Mason City facility this week.

MASON CITY —- Three months after Mason City Mayor Bill Schickel announced on Facebook that an Owatonna, Minn.-based business was looking to expand into town, ground was broken. Bushel Boy officials, along with dignitaries from Mason City, broke ground on a $35 million, 50-acre facility Wednesday on land along 43rd Street SW.

The development is expected to bring about 50 full-time jobs.

According to a news release, the ground-breaking begins Phase I of a three-phase project and entails development of a 16.5-acre high-tech greenhouse.

Before the deal was entirely finalized, Bushel Boy President Steve Irland said that Mason City courted the company aggressively.

by offering new facilities to house technology and ease of access to utilities needed for their process.

Specifically, the city applied for a Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation to construct a two-lane road to serve as frontage for the facility and the city also established plans to extend water and sewer to the area.

The company does business with stores such as Hy-Vee, Target and Whole Foods, and will open the new plant in October 2020.

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