Memphis’ High Cotton Brewing Co. today was awarded a $50,000 Storefront Improvement Grant from the Center City Development Corp. to help in the construction of its new taproom.
The craft brewery’s taproom, which is being designed by Graham Reese Design Group (see renderings on this post), will occupy about 1,000 square feet of the building’s total space of 10,000 square feet. You’ll be able to buy pints and drink them in the taproom or buy kegs, growlers and bottles to go. No food will be served, but High Cotton is working with local food trucks to provide food options to patrons.
High Cotton has been distributing its locally-brewed beers to Memphis bars and restaurants since June 2013. The taproom is expected to open in June.
The expansion will cost about $227,450, of which “storefront improvement” costs total about $123,000, according to paperwork filed with the Center City Development Corp. The grant will help cover expenses such as exterior signage, exterior lighting, design/permit fees, restoration/rehabilitation and storefront windows and doors.
High Cotton is located at 598 Monroe Avenue in the Edge District in Downtown.
The staff of the Center City board had this to say about the project in recommending it for approval:
Staff first met with the applicant and began conversations about a possible CCDC incentive over eighteen months ago. Staff’s interest in this project is not only due to the current substandard condition of the facade, but rooted in a sincere belief that this project will be impactful and add appreciable life and vibrancy to the Edge neighborhood.
Local craft breweries with tap and tasting rooms can attract people and activity to an area. It is not hard to imagine that High Cotton Brewing will become a destination in the Edge District and can serve as a place for neighborhood gathering and community. Moreover, the City of Memphis has recently placed an increased focus on the Edge and the Medical Center as a potential “Innovation District.” A successful brewery with a thriving retail component is consistent with that goal.
Redevelopment of this building may very well be a critical step in attracting additional investment to the Monroe Avenue corridor. Without the Storefront Improvement Grant, the applicant would likely only focus on the interior work and may delay or forgo the needed exterior improvements. Approving a Grant in this case will leverage the applicant’s already considerable investment in the neighborhood and allow them an opportunity to make the necessary permanent improvements and upgrades to the facade.