CUYAHOGA FALLS -- City Council unanimously approved on April 24 two pieces of legislation that help Al Klaben and the owners of Missing Mountain Brewing Company open a brewpub on Front Street.

Council adopted one ordinance authorizing the city to transfer real property to the Community Improvement Corporation of Cuyahoga Falls to facilitate the development of the property at 2821 Front St. at Oak Park Boulevard and another ordinance that authorizes the mayor to enter into a Community Reinvestment Area Agreement with Klaben's development company, 2821 Front Street LLC.

"We are all ecstatic for the approval of both ordinances going through," said Keith McFarlane, part-owner of Missing Mountain Brewing Company, which he said "has since signed a lease for the property and are looking forward to moving ahead with our plans."

McFarlane said the city has been "exceptional to work with and we are excited to be part of the community." He said the brewpub will be open once the buildings are finished and all of the federal and state licenses are approved. McFarlane said he and his three partners expect to open their doors sometime this coming winter.

In his presentation to Council on April 17, Klaben said he hopes to attract kayakers on the Cuyahoga River who can exit the water onto his property and walk up the hill to the brewpub.

Missing Mountain Brewing expects to hire two full-time and six part-time employees with an annual payroll of $250,000, the development director said. In addition to these employees, additional employees will be hired for such positions as laborers, retail sales and servers.

A transfer of city property is needed because Klaben said he needs additional space to erect a building to house Missing Mountain's brewing equipment. To encourage and facilitate economic development, the city is proposing to transfer 25 foot wide parcel of land to the CIC, according to Diane Sheridan, the city's director of community development.

"The CIC will then sell the parcel of land to Mr. Klaben in an amount to cover all title work and any other miscellaneous expense that will ensure the City and the CIC are made whole," Sheridan said on April 17. "We anticipate the title work to be in the neighborhood of $2,000 to $3,000." Sheridan added CIC cannot make any profit on this property transfer; however, should there be any profits, 100 percent of the profits would be returned to the city.

On the CRA, Sheridan said 2821 Front Street LLC applied for a 10-year, 50 percent tax abatement on a structure to contain manufacturing equipment for Missing Mountain Brewery Company as well as new improvements to the existing building. The manufacturing facility will supply the adjoining structure that will house a restaurant and tap room. The estimated amount to be invested by the enterprise to establish and occupy the structures is a little more than $1 million, she said.


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