By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Having received word of a $100,000 grant, Cooperstown Distillery President Gene Marra says construction will begin, perhaps as soon as next week, certainly this month, on a 7,500-square-foot two-story addition off the back of its Railroad Avenue plant.
“These funds will accelerate the construction of a new storage facility adjacent to our existing distillery in Cooperstown, as well as facilitate the hiring of new employees to staff the facility and support our expansion,” Marra said. “We believe this project will be a true win-win for both the company and also for the Village of Cooperstown and the community.”
Marra said the current building will extend into the second story of the addition; the addition’s first floor, a storage warehouse, will be built into the hillside behind the existing structure.
The additional storage space will allow expanded production of Abner Doubleday Bourbon and premium gins, vodka and whiskey products, he said.
The $100,000 grant is a federal CDBG grant, passed through the state Department of Homes & Community Renewal to the Village of Cooperstown.
Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch expressed satisfaction the plan has come together. “In the comp plan,” she said, “we really looked at the Railroad Avenue area as ripe for development. The potential is there: This, coupled with the Green Cow, as well as the incredible improvements at Spurbeck’s”
Looking ahead, she said “apartment-style housing” would be a sensible next step.
In addition to writing the grant application, Otsego Now also conducted the necessary review required under the National Environmental Protection Act. Otsego Now will also administer the grant application on behalf of the village.
This is the second grant award that the Cooperstown Distillery has received from the state this year for this project, the first being $85,000 through the state Empire State Development Corp.