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BreakDown: Chasing Natty Greene’s

Landing a brewpub in Danville isn’t easy. Landing a big business brewpub in Danville isn’t easy, and it isn’t cheap. Let’s do a BreakDown and tell you what’s going on.

One of the biggest secrets that really isn’t a secret is that Danville is a finalist city in getting a Natty Greene’s brewpub/restaurant/tourist attraction to come to the River District. The city’s economic development team and other stakeholders have been working hard to make the deals needed to put a big investment into the city and by big, I mean $15 million and 150 jobs worth of big. This week, the Tobacco Commission approved a $500,000 grant for the project as an incentive if Danville is the final choice. But wait, there’s more!

Let’s take a look at some other parts of the deal that’s being made to get Natty Greene’s to Danville. We’ll need a Big Board for that, so here it comes!

  • The top line on the big board is the $500,000 Tobacco Commission grant. Before the Usual Suspects howl at that, things have changed since the Job Bust days. The company wouldn’t get all of this money at once, and it would be tied to performance agreement. And Natty Greene’s is good for $500,000 in case the world ended next year, so this is a safe use of Danville’s Tobacco Commission allocation for the year.
  • The company would invest $7,000,000 into equipment and the building construction cost would be $8,000,000. The financing for the building construction would be backed by Danville’s Industrial Development Authority on a bank loan, and the company would take a 25-year lease-purchase agreement on the building. Natty Greene’s would be responsible for paying all property and equipment taxes during the lease, just as if they owned the building outright.
  • The building would be around 50,000 square feet for foodservice & brewing beer and have a hospitality area for the public. That means a restaurant and probably a banquet area.
  • This business would be a tourist draw that would average 3000 people per week (local and outside the area). That’s a lot of money that comes into the local economy as visitors to the business are likely to do other things while in Danville.
  • Here’s how the money breaks down. The property by the river is worth $1,000,000.
  • The City of Danville would put in $2,000,000 from their Industrial Enhancement grant program (Don’t howl over that, either. That’s $200,000 each year for 10 years… not all at once.)
  • The business would get a grant from the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund. That used to be called the Governor’s Opportunity Fund. There’s no word on how much that grant would be yet.
  • Finally, the Danville Regional foundation is willing to offer up $2,000,000 in gap financing if needed during the construction and operation startup. Let’s make this clear now… that’s NOT a Danville Regional Foundation grant for $2,000,000. It’s more like a open-end loan that would help on expenses that come up more quickly than cash on hand could handle. The Danville Regional Foundation would treat it as an investment and make money on the interest that the company would pay on the loan balance.

That’s a BreakDown on what is happening in the contest to land Natty Greene into Danville’s River District. The only place to find in-depth looks at topics like this is here at SouthsideCentral, and I’m glad that you’re here reading. Thanks!

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