Earlier today, the Star Tribune reported that Surly is working with the city of Minneapolis to apply for envorinmental remediation grants to clean up a site of a former food processing plant in Prospect Park near University Avenue, SE.
A city list of companies seeking grants pegs the Surly proposal at $2.5 million for cleanup costs. The document says plans call for a 50,000-square-foot structure housing a brewery and beer hall, as well as adjacent recreation space and festival gardens “to the extent feasible.” Site design also includes 40,000 square feet “mostly for expanded brewery operations.” Total projected cost is $23.5 mllion.
A statement from Surly Brewing Company this afternoon confirms that the Malcolm Midway site has indeed risen to the top of their list, but it is certainly not a done deal at this point. The brewery says it will continue to vet the short list of location options for its destination brewery. To sum things up, “…this is a 100-year decision so we are being mindful, patient, and thorough with our search.” (Read the statement in its entirety below.)
Back in June, thanks to a report from Beerpulse, a crafty MNBeer commenter, TripleT, first dug up the real estate listing for a space that fit the bill for the 8.5 acre plot in Minneapolis described in the Beerpulse story. (Here’s our story.)
Short of having the brewery in your own backyard, what are your thoughts on the location, dear readers? Its proximity to highway 280/94 and light rail, as well as Minneapolis, St. Paul, the U of M and to a lesser extent Midway Stadium and the State Fairgrounds are certainly nice. Perhaps that area of the Twin Cities will become hope to our next “brewery boom”? St. Paul Planning Commission notes mention that another brewery project, Bang Brewing, is looking at a spot on the other side of highway 280 on Capp Road. Hmmm…
Surly Brewing Company continues to vet the short list of location options for its $20 million Destination Brewery. As the due diligence moves forward, the “Malcolm Midway Site” (a demolished food processing plant West of Highway 280 and a short distance from University Ave) has risen to the top of the list, though it’s not a done deal and much needs to happen for it to become a reality. The “Malcolm Midway Site” has strong attributes: it straddles Minneapolis and St.
Paul, it’s steps away from bike trails and public transportation, including a new light rail transit station, it’s zoned and sized well for our project and it complements the Neighborhood’s Master Plan for redevelopment of the area. There are cons too, one of which is preparing the site for development after its variety of industrial uses over more than a century.
The “Malcolm Midway Site” has many proponents for Surly’s plans. The City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County have been incredibly supportive as we’ve done our environmental investigation to test viability. That said, there is substantial work to be done at the site even before we’d put the first shovel in the ground to build the new brewery. The land preparation and legwork that goes into making a former industrial site ready for new development isn’t uncommon for an urban project. In fact, it’s expected. The various stakeholders are excited about the prospective site for Surly’s Destination Brewery because it will result in jobs, it will help refresh the area, and it will be a community gathering point for generations to come. Those are some of the reasons government leaders have been so supportive and active in helping to make the “Malcolm Midway Site” a strong contender for Surly.
To balance the mutual benefits of the proposed development against the substantial costs to rectify soil and environmental challenges, Surly has begun the application process for grant funding to cover some of the cost for the site’s preparation and cleanup. It’s standard operating procedure for the development of an urban site, and is part of the reason why the Twin Cities is always regenerating and redeveloping areas of the community to make them more productive and better overall destinations. We are hopeful that our project fits within the parameters of the grant qualifications for these competitive grant sources including Hennepin County, the Metropolitan Council and the State of Minnesota. The competitive grant application process has begun, applicants and projects will be assessed over the coming months and awards are announced next January.
While the “Malcolm Midway Site” is an attractive option for this project, it’s not the only option and we continue our due diligence investigation on other site options in Minneapolis and beyond. As we’ve said before, this is a 100-year decision so we are being mindful, patient, and thorough with our search. We are looking forward to getting more Surly soon!