The first signs of the multi-million dollar redevelopment of a vacant factory in downtown Lebanon as a microbrewery and event center are expected to show up in early June.
“I spoke to the project manager, and he indicated that they are moving forward with installing a security fence within the next few weeks and performing some of the other minor building improvements that they have committed to,” City Manager Scott Brunka said in an email Tuesday.
The Lebanon Planning Commission recently cleared the way for construction to begin.
“It’s just a piece of the puzzle we’re working on,” Patrick Gaspar, manager of the project for K & D Alexander Commercial Properties, said.
Last year, Nate Alexander estimated the company — one of a handful run by his family — would spend about $2.5 million on the first phase and as much as $12 million over six years renovating the building and adding the microbrewery and event center.
Last month, the city commission approved a certificate giving the property owner one year to complete improvements to the old brick factory at 120 E. South St. in the city’s historic district.
On April 16, the commission approved plans for two roll-up sectional doors along the back of the building, new windows, doors and exterior lighting, a rear deck and an addition for two interior stairwells.
Among the conditions set: “All improvements associated with the outstanding code violations be completed by July 1.”
Earlier this month, Gaspar said he was unready to say when work would begin or discuss the project in detail.
While moving forward on the project, Brunka said Gaspar indicated they were still seeking pricing on the windows to be replaced on the three-story building.
In May 2018, the property owner was cited for code violations related to chipped and peeling window frame paint on the building.
“Numerous broken windows must be replaced,” Inspector Bruce Bowerman added.
The owners were also cited for “rotting wood” on east-side steps and a chimney or tower “rusted through at the base.”
The May 7, 2018 violation letter gave the Alexanders 60 days to correct the violations.
It would be the first microbrewery, but third convention center in Lebanon.
Warren County is building an event and convention center on the fairgrounds, just north of downtown Lebanon. Another convention and event center operates out of the city’s old post office, across Broadway from the old factory.
In December, the developers indicated they would have final drawings in March and begin demolition in May.
Earlier this month, Gaspar said the plan still called for “keeping the historical look and feel as much as possible.” But he declined to say when he expected work to begin.
“There’s a possibility we might have some other things. That hasn’t been determined yet,” Gaspar said.
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