BERKELEY, CALIF. — Upside Foods has temporarily halted its plans of building a 187,000-square-foot cultivated meat plant in Glenview, Ill.

The plans, which the company announced in September 2023, called for the construction of “Rubicon.” The company’s first product to be produced at the plant was cultivated chicken, with plans to later introduce other species and whole-textured formats. Upside said it selected “Rubicon” as the plant’s name because it would have served as “a point of no return” for the company.

Building the plant would have employed more than 75 in warehousing, logistics, bioprocessing and food production as well as other commercial functions.

With its Illinois plant plans temporarily put on hold, Upside is shifting its focus on improving its Engineering, Production and Innovation Center (EPIC) in Emeryville, Calif.

“In the process of planning for Rubicon, we identified a more efficient and cost-effective way to achieve a similar capacity and timeline of the initial phase of Rubicon by significantly expanding our operations at EPIC,” said a spokesperson from Upside. “This approach will allow us to scale and commercialize our next generation platform and products, currently under regulatory review, while extending our runway and resources for the critical work ahead. We still plan to move forward with building out our full-scale commercial facility in the future.”

Upside opened EPIC in November 2021. The 53,000-square-foot campus was designed to produce any species of meat, poultry and seafood in ground or whole-cut formats directly from animal cells.

EPIC features areas to mill and mix cell feed and to formulate, package, and test products as well as quality assurance facilities with an office for federal inspectors to oversee the process.