Breaking news – a new location for Breckenridge Brewery?

New Breckenridge Brewery?

New Breckenridge Brewery?

A public hearing before Littleton City Council on March 19 will likely determine whether a 19.5-acre parcel along South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton is rezoned from a residential suburban agricultural district to light industrial.

The action will set the stage for Breckenridge Brewery, currently at 471 Kalamath St. in Denver, to relocate to the west side of Santa Fe Drive. To the north is Meadowwood Village mobile home park, to the south is the Wolhurst Landing residential neighborhood.

Although some neighbors voiced objections to the development — citing traffic, pollution, height, noise and environmental impacts — the planning board OK’d the proposal at a February meeting.

Todd Usry, brewmaster and director of brewery operations, said, “The neighborhood concerns are legitimate and fair. It’s important we come across as responsible and as a group that wants to be a good neighbor.”

Usry said, pending an approval, closing on the property will likely occur in April.

According to the city, Designs by Sundown, a landscape company, owns 5 acres at 6855 S. Santa Fe Drive and Freeman Land Co. owns 14 acres at 6775 S. Santa Fe Drive.

Usry said Breckenridge would allow a garden center on the Freeman property, Silver Sage, to keep operating through next growing season. He anticipated groundbreaking to occur the first part of 2014. Designs by Sundown will move its offices to the site and will work on the brewery’s development.

The brewery is poised to become a destination center and will offer public tours. Plans include a visitor center with a gift shop and restaurant designed to open up to the north and west.

The buildings will include the brewhouse, administrative offices, a fermentation cellar and packaging hall. The buildings will encompass roughly 83,000 square feet with a final buildout of 120,000 square feet.

Concerns about the odors of brewing were addressed in the plan: “The new Breckenridge will employ a heat recovery vapor condenser. This equipment uses the waste heat from the steam to preheat water for the next round of brewing and, at the same time, condense the steam to liquid — removing 92 to 98 percent of the steam vapor, and the smell that comes with it, from the air.”

One building, according to the plan, will contain a stage for occasional afternoon music shows.

According to Glen Van Nimwegen, the development is consistent with the South Santa Fe Corridor Plan to create land uses that are community-oriented and generate revenue.

Original Article: Karen Groves: 303-954-2303, kgroves@denverpost.com or twitter.com/@yhkaren

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