There is no word as to whether Wilmington, which submitted its bid for Stone Brewing on March 13 - two days before the deadline - is still in the running. A call to Wilmington Business Development CEO Scott Satterfield on Monday was not returned by press time.
Stone Brewing officials aren't commenting. In an email Monday afternoon, company spokeswoman Sabrina LoPiccolo said that the brewery isn't disclosing which locations it is considering.
A Business Journal story March 17 quoted Satterfield as saying that local economic officials have identified land within the 153-acre ILM Business Park as a potential site for the company. Stone Brewing is looking for a location that would accommodate a 130,000-200,000-square foot brewery building as well as the brewery's hospitality operations, consisting of an indoor and outdoor bar, kitchen, retail center and outdoor beer garden.
Jim Morton, Wilmington International Airport finance director who is helping oversee ILM Business Park development, was quoted in the March 17 story as saying a parcel of roughly 23.5 acres was submitted to the brewery as a potential site.
Meanwhile, several South Carolina metropolitan areas, including Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg, are also vying for the brewery, according to a May 28 story in Columbia, South Carolina's The State newspaper. A major stumbling block for those cities is a state law that allows brewpubs to sell their beverages on site only if they produce no more than 2,000 barrels of beer a year.
A pair of bills in the S.C. Senate and House would raise that limit to 500,000 barrels a year, but according to the S.C. Legislature's website, both bills currently are languishing in committee, despite news in the May 28 story that lawmakers had negotiated an agreement that would allow passage.
LoPiccolo said that Stone Brewing has no definite timeframe for making its decision.
"We do not have a specific date chosen as to when we will make a decision but we are looking to identify and begin construction by the end of this year," she said in an email. "We have not disclosed how many proposals we received but we were very pleased with the amount of interest we saw from a number of cities east of the Mississippi."
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