The $2.5 million downtown brewery project could begin construction this month after receiving a property tax abatement from the city of Springfield.
The 10-year, 60-percent tax abatement for the property at 109 W. North St. was approved by city commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting.
The tax abatement will help the project get off the ground, said local developer Tom Loftis, the agent for 109 W. North Street Realty, LLC. Developers will spend $1.3 million on building improvements and $800,000 on equipment, according to public documents.
“It’s got a considerable amount of risk — any start-up does today,” Loftis said. “We’re hoping that overall it helps redevelop that entire area and continue what’s already been done. Sometimes when you start one of these things you need all the help you can get.”
The tax abatement is estimated at about $214,000 over a 10-year period, based on projected improvements. The real value of the abatement will be determined by the Clark County Auditor’s Office once its completed.
Local developer Kevin Loftis, who earned a diploma in brewing studies from the Siebel Institute of Technology in 1997, and other business partners are hoping to close on the property later this month and begin construction immediately, Tom Loftis said.
The brewery is hoping to be in production by late summer of next year, Tom Loftis said. Four to five flagship beers will be introduced at the microbrewery, which would eventually include a tap room and outdoor beer garden. In the future, the brewery could include event space, developers said.
The name of the microbrewery may also be announced soon, he said. The brewery is expected to have about four employees the first year and about seven by the end of the second year with an annual payroll of about $200,000.
The rehabilitation of the adjoining Barrett Brothers building will likely take place in the second phase of the project, Tom Loftis said.
Developers scouted several old buildings downtown, including the former Springfield News-Sun building, but initially couldn’t find a property to fit their needs. They then planned to build a new structure at the former Savoy Lounge site on West Columbia Street. But as the price continued to climb, they decided to pursue the complex across the street.
The properties include 109 W. North St., which was part of the former Metallic Casket Co. campus; the former Barrett Brothers building, 110 W. Columbia St.; and a house at 102 W. Columbia St.
A vacant building being put back into productive use will be a good project for the community, particularly the downtown, said Deputy City Manager Bryan Heck. As part of the city’s code for microbottlers approved by commissioners earlier this year, the brewery will have a tap room.
“It will bring more people into the downtown,” Heck said. “They’ll have to have that public retail interaction. I think that will be a great opportunity for people to come down to the Center City and enjoy a new establishment.”
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