You might have read the story in the City Paper today, speculating that we were getting ready to buy a building on West End or the Gulch and moving out of Marathon. Let me set the record straight:
We have run out of space here at Marathon. Our options now are to continue to build out the back side of the part of the building we are in, or to look for more space. When you consider how much it would cost to renovate the back side of our building, looking for another building to move some of our production to seems like the best option.
So we looked at a lot of buildings in and around downtown. We narrowed it down to a couple, and started negotiating with the current owners. While talking with Metro Codes, we found to our suprise that brewing beer was no longer an approved use in anywhere except an industrial zoning!
The old version of the zoning code had an exemption that let small breweries operate in the commercial districts. That's how all four of Nashville's breweries, us included, were approved. But in the newest version of the zoning code, that exemption was left out. Why? No one at Planning had any idea. But it meant that in order for us to either expand here at Marathon, or to move some operations to another location, we had to get the zoning text amended to allow for microbreweries to operate again in commercial zoning.
So that's all the current zoning bill 2008-282 is about, getting us compliant with zoning again and giving us the option to look for more space. We have no plans to leave Marathon anytime soon. But we're seriously feeling the walls, and need more space. And we have to get the zoning code changed to do it.
p.s. Update - the zoning text amendment passed with no problems.