Sprung Greenhouse

Mar 01 2007

The former Sprung Greenhouse property east of Commonwealth Avenue is at the centre of a small tug of war between the twin cities. Though the 104 acre piece of land is under St. John’s’ jurisdiction, both municipalities appear to have plans for it in 2007 – Mount Pearl to extend its boundaries to encompass it, and St. John’s to rezone it for residential development.

In early 1987, after a trip to the mainland, Premier Brian Peckford returned with promises that Philip Sprung would pave the way for Newfoundland to become a leading producer of English cucumbers. A feasibility study was never done, nor were inquiries made into Sprung’s other less than successful projects. Expecting to produce 135,000 pounds of hydroponic cucumbers a week, the province sunk over $13 million in public funds into the venture.

The greenhouse, however, yielded less than half of its quota at a production cost of more than twice the going rate. Eventually problems regulating the environment in the glowing dome led to regular crop failure.

Without ever turning a profit, the Sprung Greenhouse closed and Brian Peckford quickly resigned as Premier. Oddly, in the winter of 1989 the night sky Mount Pearl-way was still fluorescently aglow. The Sprung Greenhouse had already gone belly up, but was leaving its lights on at a cost of $7,000 a day, trying to melt the snow off the roof.

– Lesley Thompson

82 responses so far

  1. newfie intelligence

  2. Is this property going to be developed for housing. I am looking to buy a Seniors Unit like the ones down on Park Avenue Area on back opf the hotel. Please reply with information.

    PS. It’s too bad nothing is being done with this property when there is such a great need for affordable housing for seniors.

  3. Haven’t been down that way in awhile have you? Its all subdivisions now.