Plan would place distillery, hotel in former BoA building

Published 3:56 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Washington’s City Council, during its meeting Monday, is scheduled to consider adopting a resolution supporting an application seeking grant funds from the North Carolina Main Street Solutions Fund and designate agents to oversee the grant application process.

The Main Street Solutions Fund is a program designed to provide economic development planning assistance and coordinated grant support to designated municipalities with Main Street programs. The Main Street Solutions Fund, a highly competitive program, provides up to $200,000 to qualified local governments, according to a memorandum from John Rodman, the city’s community and cultural resources director, to the mayor and council members.

“The City proposes to use grant funds to assist The Hackney Distillery LLC (Nick and Suzanne Sanders) in rehabilitating the property at 192 West Main Street, also known as the Bank of America Building, into a distillery, destination restaurant and boutique hotel,” reads the memorandum. “Hackney Distillery LLC will supply ALL match monies, yielding no fiscal impact on the municipal fund to make application.”

Hackney Distillery LLC, according to the memorandum, is prepared to commit $775,000 to rehabilitate the building for use as a distillery. If a $200,000 grant is awarded, that provides $975,000 toward the proposed project.

The council, according to its tentative agenda, also will consider amending the city’s zoning regulations to allow distilleries and micro-distilleries.

“There is evidence that micro-distilleries promote tourism, and are excellent candidates for adaptive reuse of buildings in central business districts like Washington,” reads another memorandum from Rodman to the mayor and council members. “Micro-distilleries have a successful business model that enable these businesses and neighboring businesses to grow without major impact on public safety.”

The Washington Planning Board, which asked by the City Council to study the issue of distilleries and micro-distilleries, recommends the change to the zoning regulations.

State laws governing micro-distilleries changed in March as the result of action by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Glenn Moore, a city planner, told the board earlier this year the number of micro-distilleries in the state increased from 13 in 2013 to 40 in 2017. “It’s a growing use we don’t address at all in our ordinances,” Moore said then.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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