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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Friday, Nov. 29, 2019 1 week ago

Strong brew: Craft beer maker eyes March opening for new facility

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Following a key property acquisition, Florida Avenue Brewing is set for a big expansion.

Growth in Pasco County continues to surge. The latest: Pasco County officials approved Florida Avenue Brewing’s plan to open a craft brewery and restaurant at a 34,000-square-foot property in Wesley Chapel that had been used as an athletic training and fitness center.

According to a news release, the Tampa-based brewer expects to open the facility in late March.

“We’re thrilled to be growing Florida Avenue Brewing into Pasco County,” states Anthony Derby, CEO of Florida Avenue Brewing, in the release. “This expansion allows our company to create a distinct and multifaceted destination for beer lovers to gather and enjoy craft brews and high-quality food from one of Florida’s oldest and most recognizable brands.”

The property, at 2029 Arrowgrass Drive, changed hands in the spring for $4.2 million after being on the market for nearly two years. Realtors Marco Lerra and Sumiko Kuboi, a husband-and-wife team associated with Orlando-based Pierce Florida Realty LLC, brokered the sale on behalf of the seller, Japanese businessman Tatsuya Okawa.

In June, the Business Observer reported on how Kuboi’s knowledge of Japanese language, culture and business practices proved crucial to the transaction.

“Microbreweries have become modern-day gathering places for both friends and families alike,” Lerra tells Coffee Talk. “I was glad these that local buyers had both the vision and the means to morph the gym into a true community asset. As a commercial real estate agent, it is my job to find the highest and best use. And as a person, this sale was truly fulfilling.”

When it reopens in March, the space will include a full-service restaurant, tasting room and event space for corporate and musical events, as well as increased capabilities for product canning and distribution. According to the release, it will create 46 jobs and more than $8.7 million in new capital investments.

Florida Avenue Brewing joins several other Pasco projects at various development stages, including a proposed $4 million gummy vitamin facility from a startup, Fleda Pharmaceuticals Corp., in Odessa; a regional corporate headquarters in the One Pasco Center business park for Knoxville, Tenn.-based heavy civil infrastructure contractor Phillips & Jordan, a $15 million project; and a proposed 800-acre mixed-used and corporate business park from H. Lee Moffitt Cancer.

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