Plans for Beer Engineers to move into the Wood Wade building, located at 112 14th Street South, have stalled. It was confirmed during a conversation with its owner, DB Irwin, III, earlier this week. The craft brewer had ceased beer production in July. It had been operating via a contract brewing agreement with Back Forty Brewing Company in Gadsden. The proposed renovation of the building, (first announced in April 2013 with reported estimated costs ranging from $5 – 6 million) had received approval from the city’s Design Review Committee in May; and was to have started during the fourth quarter of 2014. Irwin told the Birmingham Business Journal in December 2013 he’d hoped to grow the craft brewer to as many as 35 employees once open.
Though the building sits idle, construction continues on either side of it and throughout the Parkside district (as the proposed entertainment district’s boundaries were formally identified as in mid-December),. Good People Brewing Company continues to move forward with plans to upgrade and expand the public portion of its facilities in time for the start of 2015 Southern League baseball season. Across the street, the former Merita Bread factory is undergoing a transformation into Bakers Row — a mixed use development undertaken by LIV Development and Corporate Realty — slated to open later this year. LIV Development is the company behind the LIV Parkside development located at the corner of 18th Street and 1st Avenue South. Corporate Realty has also received a zoning variance for several properties located on the 1600 block of 1st Avenue South, directly across from Railroad Park, during the last City Council meeting of 2014. The proposed use of the site, as presented to city officials, involves office space, a hotel, and a 700 car parking garage.