ULI Boston/New England Blog

Craft Beer and Real Estate – A New Era of Manufacturing Reimagines Industrial Space and Reignites Local Communities

The rising interest in craft beer is causing a beneficial ripple effect in local communities across the country, driving demand for warehouse/industrial space and helping to reposition neighborhoods as destinations for entertainment and engagement. With independent breweries creating a high demand for space to house equipment, tasting rooms and patrons, the real estate industry is embracing these new tenants with a big “Cheers!”

This June, ULI’s Young Leaders Group hosted a brewery tour and panel discussion at Jack’s Abby in Framingham, MA focused on the economic impact of the newly expanded brewery on the community. The panel featured William Manley, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Calare Properties, Sam Hendler Co-Owner of Jack’s Abby, and Arthur Robert, Community Director, and Economic Development, Town of Framingham. The panelists held a lively discussion on the uses of industrial real estate, the rise of craft beer and experiential breweries, and the impact Jack’s Abby – which doubled their size last year with an additional 63,000 square feet of industrial space for their brewery at 100 Clinton Street – has had on the economic vibrancy of Framingham.

In total, Jack’s Abby occupies 130,000 square feet at 100 Clinton Street, which houses their growing brewery, and Jack’s Abby Beer Hall, a 175-seat, 5,000 square foot restaurant featuring 24 varieties of Jack’s Abby beers and a menu centered around their wood-fired oven. Since leasing their first 67,000 square feet at 100 Clinton Street in 2014, the brewery has created a cult following drawing customers from across the region to enjoy their specialty beer and pizza. Notably, Jack’s Abby recently won Boston Magazine’s coveted ‘Best of Boston’ award. Their newest expansion “Springdale” offers an exciting environment with ornate lighting and a variety of yard and arcade games, it is no doubt the experience, paired with the great brews, keeps their followers coming back for more.

According to the Brewer’s Association, the craft beer industry is making notable strides in market share and economic impact. In 2016, craft breweries accounted for 12.3% of the beer industry’s growth and over 20% of U.S. beer market sales. During the same year, craft breweries provided 129,000 jobs across the U.S. and helped ignite life into a variety of towns in underutilized properties perfect for the needs of this industry. Jack’s Abby is no stranger to the success of the market. Since opening in 2014, Jack’s Abby has added over 90 jobs of which, about 40% live in Framingham.

Calare Properties, a private real estate investment firm that acquires and manages warehouse, manufacturing, research and flex/office assets across the Northeast, is the owner of 100 Clinton Street and played a pivotal role in the brewery’s expansion. With the shift in industrial real estate offering uses for retail, commercial and industrial users, Calare’s space offered an adaptive use for Jack’s Abby. With the success of craft breweries and the rise of craft beer sales, Calare knew this would be a tenant that could expand and grow in the space, and that they could help meet their demands.

Sam Hendler and his brothers, who own and run Jack’s Abby, attribute their success to having great partners in both Calare and the Town of Framingham, along with their devoted patrons. Arthur Roberts and Amanda Loomis with the Town of Framingham helped Jack’s Abby through the process of tax credits and understanding the resources available to them. As a result, Town Meeting voters approved a tax for the brewery that exempts them from paying approximately $225,000 in property taxes over seven years with the commitment that Jack’s Abby will keep their headquarters in Framingham and add new jobs during that time.

Similarly, Calare was able to structure Jack’s Abby’s lease at 100 Clinton Street to support the speed of their growth and negotiate additional parking on their behalf to support anticipated traffic from patrons. Calare provided $1.5 million in upgrades to the warehouse and office space, including a new roof, elevator, windows, façade work and lighting.

The brewery has ignited growth and development in a town that was in need of added vibrancy and has connected with the local community in embracing the brewery as a place to hang out, host events, showcase local art, and more. Additionally, Jack’s Abby has injected a new sense of life into Framingham, creating a space that residents and visitors alike can be proud of. Jack’s Abby is just the start for the Town of Framingham’s plans. On the heels of renewed investment from retailers and dining establishments, the Town of Framingham is making a focused effort to attract new residents to the community through upgrades to mass transit, including the recent expansion of its Commuter Rail Station, and strategic zoning changes to encourage in a new wave of investment in the community by developers experienced in transit-oriented rental projects designed to attract young urban professionals eager to make downtown Framingham their home.

bridgett_photo  by Bridget M. Kelly, Director, Nickerson People Relations

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