The papers have been signed. Now it’s time to get to work on the new distillery that will be located in downtown Henderson.
Andrew Powell, the developer for Henderson Distilling Co., said the deal for the plot of land most recently owned by the city of Henderson was finalized on Tuesday.
HMP&L, which had some offices and operations on the land, finished moving from the property to its new location on Barret Boulevard in mid-January.
The land, bordered by Water Street, Fifth Street, Main Street and the railroad bridge, was sold to the distilling company for $500,000, Powell said. The city will retain a lien on the property ensuring that a distillery is operated on the premises, Powell said.
Powell said he was excited to get control over the land, and now that that has happened, engineers can conduct soil testing in the next couple weeks.
Distillery operations—making the bourbon—were originally planned to be conducted in the old warehouse that faces Water Street, Powell said. But he said that building would have needed significant structural reinforcement for the distilling to occur there.
Now, distilling will occur in a building that will be constructed where the HMP&L poles used to be stored, Powell said. Once tests come back and permits from the state relating to distilleries are secured, foundation work for the new building can occur, he said.
Powell said permits the distillery need can take up to 45 days to secure, so he’s not got a firm date for a groundbreaking.
The Hendersonian reported in a previous article that distillery officials were hoping to open in early fall. He couldn’t say that in Friday’s interview but did say that distillery reps are “hoping to open in 2024.”
Powell said since the old warehouse won’t be able to be used as the still house, as originally planned, it will take on a different purpose, possibly where the bottling takes place. It was originally built for the bottling works for the old Henderson Brewing Co. more than a century ago, according to an article by Chuck Stinnett in the Gleaner. But its immediate use will be storage, Powell said.
The “H” building that fronts Main Street will be used as a tasting room and visitor center, Powell said, adding it will need renovations to make it useable.
Finally, the smaller building next door to the “H” building will be initially used for offices with a goal to turn it into a restaurant in five years, Powell said.
Still on the horizon are applying for trademarks and releasing names, which Powell said should occur soon.