A 3,500 square foot addition at Smithers-Oasis on Marvin Street will let the firm keep its research and development operation in Kent.
The company, best known for its floral foam packaging used in flower shops around the globe, broke ground on the new addition recently.
The Kent Board of Zoning Appeals approved plans for the expansion in October.
The firm had outgrown its original greenhouse used for research.
"As we continued to work on many exciting new products for the North American and international markets, it became clear our existing greenhouse would not keep pace with our needs," said Jim Daly, VP of Smithers-Oasis Corporate Research. "A new greenhouse will allow us to continue our path forward as the leader in propagation media and better address our customer needs.”
Construction is expected to finish by late March.
The new greenhouse will be comprised of three interconnected units, each of which will be 24 feet by 36 feet long, with a similarly sized attached “headhouse.” This part of the overall structure will contain the main utilities (i.e., distribution panel, water-supply pressure tanks) needed to efficiently operate the new greenhouse, according to Smithers-Oasis.
The firm, founded in 1954, developed water-absorbing foam for florists to use in packaging flowers, according to its website. The company is headquartered in Kent and has two facilities in the U.S. and in Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.