Friday, September 24, 2010

Empyrean Brewing has bought a new building

Not too long ago Empyrean added capacity and now they will have room to add even more. They have bought the old Meadow Gold plant in Lincoln. Here is the story below.

The company that owns Empyrean Brewing Co. has bought the former Meadow Gold plant and plans to move its brewery there and expand it.
According to county real estate records, Telesis Inc., through a subsidiary named The Dairy House LLC, paid a little more than $1.2 million for the former dairy processing plant at 726 L St.
Telesis Inc. President Eric Schafer wrote in a letter Wednesday to the Lincoln-Lancaster Planning Department that the former Meadow Gold plant is a better location for light manufacturing than the brewery's current location at 729 Q. St., next door to its signature restaurant, Lazlo's, and also home to the Telesis corporate headquarters.
Schafer could not be reached for comment Thursday, but in his letter he said that in addition to moving Empyrean's operations there, Telesis has a multiphase plan to redevelop the Meadow Gold site into offices, mixed-use retail and housing.
Telesis also may expand another company it owns into the Meadow Gold space. Data Security Inc. makes devices that erase computer hard drives.
The letter does not specifically say whether Data Security, which is in the same building as the brewery and corporate headquarters, will move to the Meadow Gold site, but Lincoln Urban Development Director David Landis said that's his understanding of the plan.
The letter also says Telesis plans to enter into a redevelopment agreement with the city, a move that would make redevelopment of the nearly two-acre site eligible for tax incentives.
Landis said Telesis officials have mapped out what they want to do with the building and are working with the city on how to redevelop the rest of the site.
He said he expects the project to go before the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission in about a month.
The site has been empty for a little more than a year, since Meadow Gold owner Dean Foods moved production to Iowa.
The move cost about 100 jobs and shut down a plant that had been in operation for more than 100 years.
Lincoln Chamber of Commerce President Wendy Birdsall called Telesis' purchase of the site, "a nice end to an unfortunate story."
"It's slightly bittersweet losing Meadow Gold, but how tremendous it is to have a local company ... to step in and continue the legacy of that business."
She said it's good to see a local company doing so well.
Empyrean, which started as the brewing operation at Lazlo's and became a separate company in 1997, has steadily grown into Iowa and South Dakota.
The company produced more than 5,400 barrels of beer last year, an increase of nearly 70 percent since 2005.
It recently expanded its brewery capabilities, adding two 930-gallon fermentation tanks to give it 20 percent more capacity.
"It's an addition we've needed for some time due to an increase in both local sales, as well as recent expansions in distribution beyond Nebraska's borders," Production Manager Jim Engelbart said in a news release earlier this month.
The former Meadow Gold site is about five blocks from where the new Haymarket arena will be built, and while it's outside of the official arena redevelopment area, Landis said it has always been the city's hope that a new arena would jump start development in the area.
"This is ahead of the curve in a sense," he said

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