This year, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will culminate the weekend of April 20th—a.k.a. 420. But today, the city of Coachella is celebrating breaking ground on a massive new cannabis facility. The more than 40-acre facility will house cultivation, manufacturing and distribution operations. With a plan to finish all construction early 2020, city officials and industry heads hope the Coachella Cann Park will bring jobs and economic revitalization to the city.

Construction Begins on City of Coachella’s Cann Park Cultivation Facility

Once the site of an old junkyard, the 40-acre plot of land at the corner of Harrison and Avenue 48 will soon be the home of a state-of-the-art cannabis facility, Coachella Cann Park. Cann Park will be the Coachella valleys first indoor cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution facility.

The project is massive in scope. It combines indoor cultivation, greenhouse and manufacturing spaces across 24 structures, totaling nearly 800,000 square feet. Furthermore, the greenhouse spaces are “turnkey” units, meaning they will be immediately available for cultivation. The light deprivation greenhouses will come equipped with flowing and veg lights, automated fertilizer and irrigation (“fertigation”) systems, heating and cooling systems and plenty of staff accommodations. In addition to greenhouses, Cann Park will offer three-story, Class A indoor cultivation and manufacturing “condos.”

Cann Park developers and the City of Coachella are also heavily incentivizing occupancy. In addition to extremely low utility costs and full electrical supply, Coachella is offering tax breaks for the Cann Park project only. Support from local government and key location for distribution will likely be major draws for the project. In fact city officials are banking on it, counting on Cann Park to bring hundreds of jobs and economic revitalization to the struggling city.

Can Cann Park Revitalize Coachella’s Downtrodden Industries?

Speaking with reporters at Friday’s ground breaking ceremony, Riverside County Supervisor Manuel Perez said the ultimate goals of Cann Park are “to create jobs for the locals” and “making sure we provide services and programs for those that live here in the city of Coachella.”

Coachella Mayer Steven Hernandez views the Cann Park project as a way to rebrand the city. Coachella used to have a thriving auto-wrecking and junk business. That industry has since left town, leaving behind abandoned junk yards like the site now being used for Cann Park. Now, visitors and residents of Coachella will see something different: a facility representing a vibrant growth industry. “I think this is the culmination of a vision and the fact that this is happening is a good sign of the direction of the city and the industry in the City of Coachella,” Mayor Hernandez said.

Project developers are also confident that Cann Park can create an economic boon for Coachella. President of Desert Rock Development,  Michael Mead, boasted that construction on Cann Park will create 250 jobs. When the project is complete, Mead expects it to create up to 500 permanent jobs for workers in the city. “There will be a lot of high paying jobs,” Mead told reporters. “Jobs that can allow families to purchase homes.”

Beyond that, the vision is to turn Coachella into a cultivation and manufacturing hub for California’s cannabis industry. Mayor Hernandez wants his city to become the largest powered cannabis zone in the United States. And toward that end, The Cann Park project is a good start.