Hamilton agrees to 12-year tax incentive for Amp House Brewing

Hamilton City Council OK’d a 12-year tax incentive agreement with the owners of Great Miami Brewing as they plan a $2 million investment to redevelop a decommissioned electric substation into a craft brewery and restaurant.

Economic Development Director Jody Gunderson said he believes the project “represents something very significant” along the Maple Avenue corridor, which runs parallel to the south of High Street.

“It’s going to be sort of like the anchor of Maple Avenue there, and with the (former CSX train) depot going in across the tracks there, we’ve got some other projects that are ‘what ifs’ along that corridor there,” he said. “It’s probably coming together much quicker than we even thought.”

Ryan Harper and Greg Snow plan to open and convert the former electric substation, 514 Maple Ave., into a craft brewery (with a taproom) and restaurant called Amp House Brewing. They plan to open in the summer of 2023 and are working with Community Design Alliance, which Harper previously told the Journal-News that team has “come up with many cool ideas for one-of-a-kind Hamilton brewery.”

The project is expected to begin this summer, according to the CRA agreement.

Plans call for cutting open the center of the main floor so patrons can sit around a brew system that extends up from the basement. They also want to incorporate a wood-fired pizza kitchen.

Thematically, the brewery and restaurant will incorporate the history of the old substation, which was built in 1935, “because you can’t replicate its history.”

Harper told the Journal-News in February they “want to encompass a historic electrical theme, i.e., (Thomas) Edison, (Nikola) Tesla, (George) Westinghouse, mixed with industrial engineering and beer alchemy.”

The tax incentive is a Community Reinvestment Area agreement where the city will abate 50% of real property improvements made to the project for 12 years. A stipulation of the agreement requires Amp House Brewing to add up to five full-time and 17 part-time permanent jobs over the three years after the redevelopment is completed.

The city expects to receive an estimated $10,000 in income tax from Amp House Brewing employees.

The city has been a supporter of the project. In February, the city agreed to sell the Maple Avenue property to Harper and Snow for $1. They initially planned to sell the building for $10,000 but costs, like environmental remediation, were greater than anticipated, the city agreed to the $1 sale.

Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Dan Bates believes Amp House Brewing can be a “catalyst” inspiring redevelopment along Maple Avenue.

“If that’s successful, which I think it will be, then I think other people will be looking at things down that corridor,” Bates previously told the Journal-News.

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