CHICAGO — Food technology startup Aqua Cultured Foods has begun development on a new facility in the West Loop of Chicago, Ill.

Nearly three times the size of the company’s current headquarters, the buildout project will provide necessary upgrades to the existing structure and enable Aqua to scale production of its fermentation-based protein and whole-cut, plant-based seafood.

“This move is the final step on the road to commercialization of our alt-seafood, and it’s what we and our supporters have been waiting for,” said Anne Palermo, CEO of Aqua. “Since the new location already meets all the key regulations for food production, we can scale manufacturing quickly and product introductions with our go-to-market partners will follow.”

The company expects to introduce its product line in the second fiscal quarter of 2023, including plant-based calamari, shrimp, scallops and tuna and whitefish fillets.