It was recently announced that the owner of proposed micro- brewery to be built next to the Hays Street Bridge has changed the location where it will be built. The plans still call for the brewery to built next to the historic old bridge but it will be built on property owned by the brewery's owner, on the southside of the bridge. This is good news for the neighborhood and the Eastside. The project has been stalled since August 2012 when city council approved the sale of city owned land to the developer. The project has created controversy from the start. The bridge restoration group cried foul when the city moved to sell the land that the restoration group has insisted was to be used as a park.
The neighborhood has supported the project from the start. Much of the organized opposition has come from outside the neighborhood. The opposition has demonized the neighborhood association making accusations that the association is infiltrated by newcomers. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality the folks that have organized the opposition do not live in the neighborhood and therefore do not really have a good understanding of what is behind the support by the neighborhood. None of these folks have ever sat down with me or others in the neighborhood to talk about why we don't need another park and would rather see a project that can generate jobs.
The basic truth to all of this is that our neighborhood has supported the project because of the potential of being able of kick starting sorely needed economic development in and around the neighborhood. More importantly, getting the brewery project off the ground will be a first step in tearing down some of the negative perceptions about the Eastside.
For my part I'm glad to hear that the brewery will be moving forward.