Craft brewery coming to Bradenton's Village of the Arts

nwilliams@bradenton.comJanuary 17, 2013 

BRADENTON -- A craft beer brewery is coming to Bradenton's Village of the Arts.

Situated near McKechnie Field, the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and home ballpark of their minor league affiliate, the Bradenton Marauders, the projected 15,000-square-foot brewery will include brewery tours, a tasting room, outdoor patio and beer garden.

The beer manufacturing facility, which hasn't yet been named, is expected to bring 30-50 jobs to Bradenton in the next few years, said Ann Altman, public relations director for Princess T LLC, the agent presenting SSI Properties, Inc., the owners of property and brewery. The brewery is expected to be built within six months, Altman said.

Bradenton City Council members are expected to vote on the final approval of the future site at a City Council meeting at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 13 at City Hall. On Wednesday, Bradenton's city planning commission approved a special permit to operate the brewery, which will be located at 1014 Ninth St. W.

The brewery, which will be owned by local couple Denise and Frank Tschida, will also sell beer and wine, and merchandise items, along with take-home packages.

"We have been made to feel so welcomed: by our neighbors in and around the Village of the Arts, and by the City of Bradenton," said Denise Tschida. "We've definitely experienced Bradenton 'Friendly City' claim."

Dave Gustafson, executive director of Bradenton's Downtown Development Authority, said the estimated economic impact of the brewery in Bradenton is about $1.8 million spread over the next five years. Of that, approximately $200,000 will go directly to Bradenton's 14th Street Community Redevelopment Agency.

"Certainly, we know there is great synergy with the Village of the Arts, Pittsburgh Pirates and our Old Main Street merchants down to the riverfront," Gustafson said. "This is another piece of the puzzle to put Bradenton on the map.

The 14th Street CRA is moving forward with a Village of the Arts Planning Project to revamp the neighborhood. The project includes a partnership of businesses, government groups and New College of Florida and University of South Florida. New College and USF professors and students will take the lead in developing proposals for the project.

On Monday, a community workshop was held at the Salvation Army on 14th Street to gauge resident interest in the renovation plan. The workshop is the first step of a six-stage plan for the development of a visual outlook for the neighborhood. In the next phase, city planners and designers will create a graphic representation based on the residents' designs and identify other potential projects within the neighborhood. The city will then schedule a second visioning workshop sometime in February.

The 14th Street area includes Village of the Arts, blocks of art galleries that also serve as permanent residences for many artists.

"We look forward to brewery tours and the tourists that will draw, and to creating opportunities in the beer garden for hosting neighborhood functions, arts and crafts shows, visiting blues artists and regular tasting events," said Frank Tschida.

Gustafson said employees at the brewery will earn an average annual salary of $48,000. He said Manatee County is in the process of formulating incentive grants totaling $30,000 if a threshold of 30 jobs is created.

Nick Williams, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411 ext. 7049. Twitter:@_1NickWilliams

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