It seems a week doesn't go by without someone asking me, "What's going on at the Brewery?" My answer is, "There is a LOT going on behind the scenes to facilitate redevelopment of the brewery."
Not only was the covenant barring alcohol production removed, which has renewed interest in the facility, but we also reached agreement with LOTT to allow a credit for reconnection fees to the sewer system. This has the potential to save millions in redevelopment costs.
Most recently, with the help of a grant from the State's Community and Economic Revitalization Board (CERB), we hired consultants to evaluate the cost of preservation of the iconic Old Brewhouse, and access and utility improvements for brewery properties north of Custer Way. The consultants also considered the feasibility of creating a "Craft Brewing and Distilling Center" on a portion of the former brewery property. City partners, including South Puget Sound Community College, Port of Olympia, Washington State University, Thurston Economic Development Council, and the Olympia Tumwater Foundation are already working to implement the plan.
And with another grant from the Department of Ecology, the City is preparing a detailed environmental review of redevelopment options for the Old Brewhouse site. The report is expected to be released for public comment later this year. So, have patience as we continue to work with the current owners to return this community asset to a vibrant use.
- Pete Kmet, Mayor