CEDAR SPRINGS, MI — An ambitious brewery and restaurant project in northern Kent County was approved this week for $285,614 in state economic development incentives.
The Cedar Springs Brewing Co., soon to be located at 95 North Main St. in downtown Cedar Springs, was approved for the performance-based grant by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on Wednesday, Feb. 25.
The grant comes through the agency’s Community Revitalization Program, which replaced the MEGA, Brownfield and historic tax credit programs that were eliminated amid tax reform legislation in 2011.
The grant is performance-based, meaning the brewery owner David Ringler must meet certain benchmarks like job creation in order to receive the money. The $1.5 million project is expected to create 15 “full-time equivalent” jobs.
Ground was broken in October on the 8,000-square-foot microbrewery and full service restaurant that plans 150 seats inside, plus another 100 seats outside in a beer garden that will back up to the White Pine Trail.
Actual construction was delayed about three months by additional environmental testing required by the state Department of Environmental Quality in relation to a fuel oil tank on site when it was home to a previous business, Ringler said.
The 1890s-era building demolished last year to make way for the brewery once housed a flour mill, several grocery stores and the Cedar Springs Auto Supply store.
“There was some contamination 12 feet below the surface that was capped,” he said.
The Cedar Springs Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is contributing $56,800 in local and school tax increment financing. The city is contributing $31,178 to the Brownfield plan and approved a 12-year industrial facilities tax break worth $130,000.
Ringler said construction should begin mid-to late March, and he hopes to open later this summer. The brewery will ship kegs, cans and some bottles off a 15-barrel system.
The brewery will serve German beers and food. The project is expected to have a “transformational” effect on downtown Cedar Springs.