North of 96th - Lindsey

Welcome to North of 96th, your source for business news from Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield and Zionsville. Your host, Lindsey Erdody, can be reached at lerdody@ibj.com.

Fishers / Hamilton County / Regional News

Fishers OKs deal to land Sun King brewery

August 19, 2014

Fishers Town Council unanimously approved an economic development deal Monday that will allow Sun King Brewing Co. to plant some of its growing business in the suburban community.

As IBJ reported Monday, the craft beer maker plans to spend as much as $10 million to build and equip a 40,000-square-foot brewery, tasting room and special-event venue that Sun King hopes will become a tourist attraction in its own right.

Sun King promised to hire the equivalent of 20 full-time employees in Fishers by the end of 2016, for a total annual payroll of $630,000, and make the capital investments by the end of 2020.

Fishers, in turn, agreed to capture the taxes produced by the nearly 13-acre property for 25 years, turning all but $225,000 over to the company to offset its expenses. The local incentives are expected to be worth about $2.3 million, and the town and developer Thompson Thrift will build a trail from 106th Street south to the Sun King property.

In a separate deal announced Monday, Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered up to $450,000 in industrial-development grants and tax credits based on Sun King’s job-creation plans and the promise of an $8.8 million capital investment.

Company President Omar Robinson, who described himself as the “old man” at the company founded five years ago by son Clay Robinson and friend Dave Colt, told the council that the Fishers location “just fits and feels good.”

“We can do a lot to help Fishers,” he said, “and Fishers is willing to do a lot to help us.”

The design of the Fishers building is still a work in progress, but Robinson showed photos of other brewery-tasting rooms throughout the country (plus one in Australia) that are being used as inspiration.

He also wants to use a portion of the site—now-undeveloped land on Kincaid Drive between 96th Street and 106th Street—to grow some barley and hops, two key ingredients in beer.

Council member Mike Colby, who described himself as the “old man” on the elected panel, said he hasn’t acquired a taste for craft beer yet but he’s willing to keep trying once the Sun King tasting room opens next summer.

The measure passed by a 4-0 vote, with three councilors absent.

Also Monday, the councilors OK’d a request for up to $22,500 in funding to keep the Indy Express commuter bus running to and from Fishers for the rest of the year—but made no promises beyond that, urging organizers to explore other revenue sources.

Carmel City Council, which is being asked to contribute $30,000 to support its commuter route, will vote after a recommendation from its Finance, Administration and Rules Committee.

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