City ready to combine two grants to facilitate micro-distillery project

Published 8:09 pm Friday, July 6, 2018

During its meeting Monday, Washington’s City Council will consider amending a grant-project ordinance regarding the project to build a micro-distillery downtown.

If approved, the amendment would apply a $10,000 Smart Communities ElectriCities Economic Development Grant to a $200,000 state grant being used to help convert the former Bank of America building into a micro-distillery, restaurant and boutique hotel. Washington plans to use a $10,000 grant from the N.C. Commerce Department as the local match required by the Smart Communities grant contract.

The ElectriCities grant will provide assistance to complete the renovation of the building, including exterior restoration that includes windows and doors, according to a memorandum from City Manager Bobby Roberson to the mayor and council members. Hackney Distillery LLC, owners of the former bank building, plan to invest $200,000 for equipment and spend $900,000 on the boutique hotel on the second and third floors, according to the memorandum.

“The level of detail was great and just what we were looking for. This is a very well organized project. … Our team is very excited to see this finished project!” wrote Brenda Daniels, manager of economic development, for ElectriCities, in regard to the application for the grant.

The $200,000 grant comes from the Main Street Solutions Fund, an economic-development program within the N.C. Department of Commerce. It will be used to assist The Hackney Distillery LLC (owners Nick and Susanne Sanders) in the first phase of rehabilitating the former bank building. A future second phase, not funded by this grant, will help to construct 14 boutique hotel rooms on the second and third floors, according to project documents.

The project is one of several similar projects underway in downtown Washington. The former Fowle Building is being converted into a brewpub — Castle Island Brewery — on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors. The former Washington Jewelers and Tassels buildings are being renovated with plans for retail spaces on the ground floors and apartments on the upper floors. The former McClellan’s department store is being converted into an indoor farmers and artisans market by the Washington Harbor District Alliance.





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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