Canal Does Swimmingly At City Hall

October 30, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — It was happy-hour time for the Canal Street Brewing Co. at City Hall last week, as commissioners transferred the firm’s microbrewer license to its new site and then granted the company an industrial tax exemption for its new location.

Canal Street, which owns the Founders Brewing Co., will soon be leaving its leased and longtime home in the Brass Works Building at 648 Monroe Ave. NW for its owned and larger location at 235 Grandville Ave. SW.

The move will allow Founders to raise its brewing capacity to up to 40,000 barrels a year, more than six times its current capacity.

Canal Street Principals Mike Stevens and David Engbers have invested about $1.9 million into the renovation of an 8,000-square-foot structure and into a 10,000-square-foot addition to the building.

Because the project was done as a brownfield, the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will capture all the new property taxes generated from the project and reimburse Canal Street for its remediation work.

Canal Street is also applying for a Michigan Business Tax credit and tax-increment financing.

“This project will retain 21 employees and expects to hire an additional 10 employees,” said Mayor George Heartwell.

The new workers could add another $25,000 in income-tax revenue to the city’s coffer.

Stevens, company president, told the Business Journal the new brewery and pub will open to the public on Saturday, Nov. 17.

Commissioners also granted industrial tax abatements to Steeltech LTD and the Leedy Manufacturing Co. last week.

Steeltech is investing $450,000 in new equipment and a new building on Buchanan Street SW. Leedy Manufacturing is investing $1.5 million in new equipment.

“This company does ship products overseas,” said 2nd Ward Commissioner Rick Tormala of Leedy Manufacturing.

Steeltech manufactures stainless steel castings for steel mills, heat-treating and the lime-processing industry. Leedy Manufacturing makes metal machined and fabricated parts and assemblies for the agricultural, furniture and automotive markets.

Steeltech, at 1251 Phillips Ave. SW, employs 50 and plans to create up to three new jobs from its investment. Leedy Manufacturing, at 210 Hall St. SW, has 47 employees and doesn’t expect any new jobs to come from its investment.

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