Rent a Greenhouse for a One Year Return-on-Investment

Rent a Greenhouse for a One Year Return-on-Investment

– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

Rent a greenhouse instead of building one for your commercial aquaponics system and get a one year return on your investment.

In Southern California (obviously, a biased sampling) the cost to lease a greenhouse of 25,000 to 75,000 sq ft is from US$1,500 to US$3,000 TOTAL.

GreenhouseLet’s do the math and see how this investment pencil’s out:

A very solid rule of thumb on the cost of a PFAS Module which includes the grow trays, the fish tanks and all of the related lumber, pipe, liner and the PFAS Kit, is US$2,100 per Module. A 10,000 sq ft installation will contain 28 to 32 Modules depending on the specifics of the layout.

Grab a Pencil and Let’s Do the Math

Multiply the cost per Module US$2,100 times the maximum number of Modules 32 and your install cost becomes US$67,000. Then comes the greenhouse. [This cost is normally THE most expensive part of an aquaponics installation.] Let’s use a three year lease and figure the ROI on the yearly maximum rate of US$2,000 for a 10,000 sq ft greenhouse or US$24,000.

You still have labor, electricity, fish, seeds and misc and these total approximately US$80,000 per year. These figures are San Diego, California figures, California labor costs, San Diego Gas and Electric power costs and the local water district water costs (not inexpensive).

First Year Expenses (Averages)

  • Your first year investment will include the cost of building the Modules    
  • The total operating  costs                                                                                            
  • Rental on the greenhouse
  • First year total

The gross income based on a mixed production of both greens and fruiting plants such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and beans is approximately US$185,000 of income per year resulting in a net-net income of approximately US$80,000 per year.  Specialty or custom ordered vegetables dramatically impact this figure on the high side. For example if all basil were grown the income would almost quadruple to over US$600,000. Cucumbers are even better producers, but remember, these specialty crops and are NOT high volume crops.

These figures show a total payback over slightly over two years. US$80,000 x 2 years = US$160,000. Oh, wait, the initial capital investment was less then US$100,000 so the real payback is in a little over ONE YEAR.

Now look at the third year numbers. There are operating costs and rental costs, that’s it. The output has increased approximate 20% as the system ages and cures so using the initial income of US$185,000 and not the US$220,000 (the 20% increase) it will really be producing,  your US$80,000 per year (or US$116,000 with the increase in production) is now pure profit. Almost enough for some people to live on comfortably.

Contact us today for specifics, but first read Commercial Aquaponics and have two items is place, 1) your money or your investors money to cover the project’s cost, 2) a location to build your PFAS Modules so you can be in business in less than six months.  Remember, we even train your operators, guarantee our systems and are here to help.


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    • Peter Shoyomi on 2020-04-29 at 2:13 pm
    • Reply

    I need greenhouse space in the Indianapolis area – a minimum of 25,000sq . Can you help me find one?

    1. We are not familiar with ‘existing’ greenhouse spaces but we highly recommend Greenhouse Mega Store

      – Colle Davis, CEO, PFAS LLC

    • Eleanor Jenson on 2018-01-14 at 3:33 pm
    • Reply

    I have 9 2,500 sq ft greenhouses for lease in Utah. How could I successfully advertise them?

    1. Eleanor,

      A realtor specializing in farm/greenhouses, craigslist, Facebook and the local papers. We strongly recommend leasing for those interested in commercial aquaponics. The ROI is much better and because the systems can be moved, the capital investment is the lowest of any option.

      Good luck.


    • Jason on 2013-06-01 at 12:48 am
    • Reply

    I don’t need any sort of farming equipment, I just want to know if the is a lease to own option for a greenhouse or greenhouses, that would equal 60,000 sq.

    Thank you for your time,
    Jason Branum

    1. Jason,

      There are hundreds of those types of deal available. Check with your local Realtor. With the Portable Farms™ Aquaponics Systems you don’t need farm equipment anyway.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

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