A new microbrewery and tap room is expected to open next summer in the City of Powell’s Downtown Business District after the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission — by a 6-1 vote — approved a certificate of appropriateness for the renovation and expansion of the existing building at 41 Depot St.
Columbus architect Steve Reynolds of Shyft Collective presented plans for what will become the future home of the Nocterra Brewing Company. The plans call for the remodeling of the current structure on site to resemble an old railroad station that will house the tap room and barrel storage area, while a 1,350-square-foot addition will be built onto the west side of the building to create space for the brew house and grain storage room.
Other improvements to the building include extension of the porch for additional outdoor seating, as well as the addition of a prefabricated cupola and walk-in cooler. Patrons will also be able to view the brewing process through two clear brewery (garage) doors.
Reynolds said the building will have room for 75 occupants, and the plan is to keep the existing 14 parking spaces on site while adding six additional spaces for employee/fleet parking. Extra parking spots will be available at 47 Depot St., 94 W. Olentangy St., and the parking area along the southern portion of Depot Street.
The Nocterra Brewing Company’s website states the business will produce American sour beers, IPAs, ales, and lagers of all styles.
Rocky Kambo, assistant director of development for the city, said it was a pleasure working with the applicant and called the submitted plans “an exceptionally well-done application” and “a great proposal for the historic downtown.”
He said the microbrewery will not only benefit Powell residents by giving them another place to patronize, but taxes generated from the site will also help pay for public services.
Commission member Shaun Simpson said the business will help attract new visitors to Powell as he foresees it becoming a destination stop, and he looks “forward to seeing something usable” move into the current vacant structure.
While commission member Shawn Boysko called the project “a great redevelopment of an existing property,” he voted against the certificate of appropriateness due to concerns over parking in front of the business on Depot Street (suggested angled spots instead of straight on spots), accessibility to the property, traffic safety, and the ability of the current infrastructure (Depot and East Case streets) to handle the anticipate high-volume traffic the business is likely to attract.
“I’m concerned with the traffic and the ability of the two roads being able to handle the traffic,” he said. “Having two-way traffic on that road I think is dangerous.”
Boysko said the narrowness of Depot Street is really concerning and would have preferred it to have been addressed prior to moving forward with the project.
“Unless there is improvements to those streets (Depot and East Case), I think it creates a dangerous situation,” he said.
Commission member Bill Little said he also has concerns with parking and the narrowness of Depot Street.
Both Kambo and David Betz, director of development, acknowledged the roadway improvements are highlighted in the Keep Powell Moving initiative, but the capital improvement funds needed to do the work just aren’t available.
In a related matter, the commission was informed by city staff that the plan with the microbrewery includes making a right-of-way available to the city to the north of the property to allow for the future extension of Depot Street north to Adventure Park Drive.
Due to the concerns addressed by Boysko and Little, the commission included in its approval of the certificate of appropriateness several conditions it wants addressed like the installation of no parking signs on one side of Depot Street and signage on the property showing patrons where other parking areas are available.