After two weeks off, the Manhattan City Commission reconvened Tuesday in what turned out to be a fairly low-key meeting.
Tallgrass Brewing Company
Tallgrass is in negotiations with Verizon to purchase the old Western Wireless building in Corporate Technology Park, North of the airport. In the mean time, Tallgrass approached the Manhattan City Commission about re-zoning the old building in hopes of performing some serious renovations.
“It’s around a 58,000 square-foot building with 350 parking stalls and landscape areas,” said Eric Cattell, Assistant Director for Planning, “the proposal is to re-zone that from the I-5 district to the I-3 district. ”
The old Call Center is within the Airport Overlay District, but Cattell doesn’t expect Tallgrass to impact the airport in any way with the purchase and renovation of the building.
The Commission unanimously approved the first reading of the re-zoning request.
Tallgrass sent an economic development application to the City for over 400,000 dollars in incentives.
According to Deputy City Manager, Jason Hilgers, the incentives would be distributed in three payments and are contingent upon on financial commitments by Tallgrass.
“The first $125,000 is based on them closing on the property within the Tech Park. The second installment would be after their investment within the facility of $3.2 million. The performance grant is a $180,000 maximum, it’s basically 40 jobs at $45,00 per,” Hilgers said.
Commissioner, Rich Jankovich said the package is well design because it keeps Tallgrass working for the incentives.
“One of the things in this particular case, in the incentive package, that I like is that the monies that we are putting forward are after the fact as a opposed to before.,” Janovich said.
Existing Business Manager with the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, Trent Armbrust, said the incentive package would allow Tallgrass to stay local.
“They brew quite a bit in Manhattan, but they’re also brewing at Cold Spring, Minnesota which is a contract brewer. And part of this incentive package and their growth out into the Tech Park will allow them to do, is bring all that brewing back to Manhattan and have a centralized brewing location,” Armbrust said.
Should the City approve the economic development application, and once renovations are complete, Tallgrass could add 12 new positions and meet pent-up demand, resulting in a 60-70 percent sales growth in 2015 alone.
The Commission will make a final determination on an economic development incentive package for Tallgrass Brewing Company on April 1st.