There’s more than just beer brewing at Flying Dog, which announced plans Tuesday to open a 150,000-square-foot brewery in the city of Frederick.
The brewery made a $2.55 million offer Monday to buy 31 acres of vacant farmland off Bowmans Farm Road east of Frederick Municipal Airport, according to Erin Weston, communications director for the brewery. The site would serve as the location of a $50 million project to construct a larger, state-of-the-art brewery, that would either replace or expand on the manufacturing at its company’s Wedgewood Boulevard property.
The project will create 150 new jobs and eventually produce up to 700,000 barrels of beer per year, according to a statement released Tuesday. Flying Dog’s current brewery has a capacity of 100,000 barrels.
Richard Griffin, the city’s economic development director, described the offer as a great opportunity for the city.
“Flying Dog is a terrific company,” he said. “We’ll do everything in our power to help them out, to try and get this to work.”
The offer comes after several months of research into possible locations for the new brewery in and around the Greater D.C. area, Weston said. Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso was quoted in a company statement as saying the site’s location in the city of Frederick was what he liked most about the property.
“It’s a community that’s embraced us from day one,” she said.
The brewery has already begun exclusive negotiations for the sale of the city-owned property, Weston said, with initial approvals expected by September. The contract requires approval from the mayor and Board of Aldermen under city policies for sale of city-owned land.
Griffin said Flying Dog was the first buyer to make an offer on the property, although others have expressed interest since the city began marketing the site through MacRO Commercial Real Estate last fall. The $2.55 million offer represents the full asking price listed for the property, a figure largely determined by its appraised value, Griffin said.
As of July 1, the 1715 Bowmans Farm Road property was valued at $2.6 million, according to records with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation. The city bought the property in 2008 for $5.4 million.
City officials expect to discuss the offer in a workshop on Sept. 2. A vote is slated for Sept. 17, after a public hearing.
A vote to approve the contract would launch a 120-day study period, allowing Flying Dog to determine the feasibility of the project before the sale is final, according to Griffin.
Griffin described the study period as a standard component of any large contract of sale. If the company decides against the project after that study, it can walk away from the contract without any negative repercussions, although it must pay a deposit on the offer at the start of the study period when the contract is executed.
The offer comes on the heels of a new city tax credit program, which gives city manufacturers a credit on some or all of the property taxes on new or expanded businesses. Flying Dog’s project, as proposed, would qualify for a 100 percent property tax credit for up to 10 years under the sliding scale approved by city officials last week.
Griffin said the company had not indicated whether it would apply for the credit because it was too early in the negotiations for that level of detail.
When, and if, the contract of sale becomes final, Griffin said he assumed they would apply.
Design and development on the new brewery could begin in 2016, with beer production by mid-2018, according to the released statement.