EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- A tax break approval from Eugene and Lane County leaders is helping form what many are considering Eugene's first brewery district, as two local brewing companies are expanding into the city’s Whiteaker neighborhood.
Both Hop Valley Brewing Company and Oakshire Brewing are moving in to old buildings in 'the Whit' and they'll get at least three years of property tax exemptions to help thanks to the West Eugene Enterprise Zone.
Lane County’s Board of Commissioners approved expanding the zone Wednesday, October 24, joining Eugene City Council who okayed the expansion on Monday.
Oakshire Brewing is spending half a million dollars to remodel the old Multi-Craft Plastics building on Second and Madison Avenue, right across from the Wandering Goat Café.
The building will house Oakshire’s offices, more production space and a tasting room. The tasting room will not have its own kitchen, but instead will offer food from food carts.
Expanding the enterprise zone to include the Oakshire property will help business save thousands of dollars and reinvest money into their growing six-year-old business.
Oakshire says the location next to other breweries, creating a district of sorts, is another big bonus.
“Clustering in business is well studied, it helps really promote incentives from local government,” says Jeff Althouse, founder of Oakshire Brewing. “It's a great draw for the sort of skilled labor that we need in our companies. Having three brewing companies there really attracts people from out of school like Oregon State.”
Oakshire is aiming to open the public house portion of its expansion in February 2013.
Within walking distance just two blocks away down West 1st Avenue, Springfield-based Hop Valley Brewing Company is also working on expansion with new production space and tasting room in the old Scharpe Building Materials space.
Hop Valley’s owners say they wouldn't be able to do the project without the enterprise zone tax exemption. The company’s plan is to open the expansion in early 2013.
Also in the Whiteaker, Ninkasi just broke ground on its new brewing production space on Blair Boulevard. All three breweries are planning to finish their respective projects in 2013.