Image: Oldenburg Inc.
Beer will be flowing again at the site of a shuttered Canadian brewery once a development effort to convert it into residential lofts tops up.
The Brewer Lofts, a condo project taking shape at the century-old former Northern Breweries in Sudbury, Ontario, is serving buyers with beer taps and kegs as an amenity in its suites.
“It’s a nod to the building’s history,” says Greg Oldenburg, the project’s developer, who snapped up the industrial lot for under $1 million after noticing a for-sale sign back in September 2013.
“There’s some buildings that you’ll have on-demand hot water,” says Oldenburg, referring to a device that acts as an instant kettle, pouring boiling hot water.
“So this is really not much different than that — it just happens to be beer,” he says.
Besides tapping into the red-brick building’s past, Oldenburg says the amenity is a way to have fun with the development project, which is a first for Oldenburg Inc., his company.
It may be the only condo with an “unofficial-official supplier of beer,” as Oldenburg puts it.
The 47-unit Brewer Lofts is partnering with Stack Brewing, a local craft brewery. “They’ve got a great product and I’m happy to support local business in any way possible,” says Oldenburg.
But thirsty residents can opt to go elsewhere for their brews, too.
Either way, they’ll be paying the tab for libations; the cost of beer isn’t covered by maintenance fees, although the amenity itself comes at no extra charge with the purchase of a unit.
“It’s not like we’re doing a beer of the month club,” Oldenburg, a Sudbury native, explains.
Foregoing the amenity altogether is an option as well, and some of the 13 people who have reserved units, which start in the low $200,000s, are doing just that as Greater Sudbury’s planning department reviews Oldenburg’s application for 185 Lorne Street.
“Some people have said, ‘We’re not drinking, and we wouldn’t really want to have one,’ so I want to respect that,” Oldenburg tells BuzzBuzzNews.
“Forcing consumption is sort of contrary to the LCBO,” he adds, noting the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, the Crown corporation that regulates alcohol in the province.
Generally, though, there’s been positive interest in the amenity, which should come as no surprise given Canadians’ thirst for the frothy beverage. Canadians guzzled more than 22 million hectolitres of it in 2014, according to Beer Canada, an industry trade group.
“I think people like the fact that it’s a fun consideration that touches on the history of the property and what was in the building in the first place,” Oldenburg comments.