Inventors Brewpub work now set to start in fall

Developer wants to make sure all materials are in place before construction on controversial marina lot begins

WITH THEIR FINALapprovals from the City of Port Washington in hand, TBF Development is preparing to begin construction of the new Inventors Brewpub on the north marina slip parking lot this fall. Rendering by Striegel Agacki Studio
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

Construction of the new Inventors Brewpub on the north marina slip parking lot is expected to begin this fall, Gertjan van den Broek of TBF Development said Tuesday.

Van den Broek said the company is waiting to find out when the steel fabrication for the building will be done before setting a date for construction to begin.

“Once they go into fabrication, then we can move ahead,” he said. “It’s because of the supply chain that we want to make sure everything is locked in before we start work.”

Van den Broek said he expects work on the footings and foundation will begin this fall, noting it needs to be completed by Dec. 24.

The steel frame will then be erected during the winter, he said.

“From there, it’s lining everything else up,” van den Broek said, noting the building should be completed next summer.

“I think the question is going to be is inventors going to want to open a new business during their peak season,” he said, or whether owner Adam Draeger will hold off until fall so he has time to make the move from the brewery’s home inside the Van Ells-Schanen American Legion Hall.

Although a groundbreaking for Inventors was held last month, van den Broek said they held off on construction to ensure everything is in place before opening the ground and potentially exposing remnants of the former Wisconsin Chair Co., which sat on the site for decades.

TBF Development, which is constructing the building for Inventors, has already received state approval for its building design, financing is in place and the brewing equipment is ordered and ready to ship . Tuesday’s approval of two measures by the Port Washington Common Council were the last ones needed for the project, van den Broek said.

The council on Tuesday approved the final two measures needed for construction — an easement allowing a water pipe for the geothermal heating, ventilating and air conditioning system to be extended under the boardwalk and through the metal sheetwall and a license agreement allowing a handicapped access ramp and stairway and building soffits and eaves to encroach on the public way.

Van den Broek said the building will be the first geothermal structure in downtown Port and noted that it is being constructed with the infrastructure needed to add solar panels in the future.

The water pipe will draw 87,584 gallons of water from the lake each day as part of the building’s HVAC system. The lake water would not come in contact with the city’s water system, van den Broek said, but instead will be in a closed loop system that will draw heat out of the building before returning it to the lake.

The Department of Natural Resources has reviewed and approved the system, van den  Broek said.

The construction of Inventors is the final stage of a controversy that split the community after officials decided to sell the lakefront parking lot for development.

The Inventors project, touted by many as a way to keep a growing business in downtown Port, is expected to increase the value of the property by approximately $5.8 million when it is completed next spring.

The 27,700-square-foot building will include a 10-barrel craft brewery, restaurant with 240 seats and a 250-seat event space with an additional 80 seats on the mezzanine level.

There will also be approximately 8,000-square-feet of space on the second floor.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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