Updated: Feb 7, 2022
2016 Best Adaptive Reuse Project
The Newgrass Brewing Company adaptive reuse project in Uptown Shelby involved rehabilitating the former Hudson's Department Store into a brewery and tasting room. The 8,600 square foot building, constructed in 1909, stood vacant on a busy block for more than ten years. The Uptown Shelby Association facilitated the marketing and sale of the property to Hudson Phoenix, LLC, formed in 2014 by local investors Roger Holland and Greg Melton of Holland & Hamrick Architects, and former Cleveland County Manager David Dear.
The building had been stripped bare and required a complete rehabilitation, which was done in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Rehabilitation. McKnight, Smith, Ward, Griffin Engineers performed engineering for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, and Taylor & Viola Structural Engineers was responsible for the structural engineering. The City of Shelby provided more than $176,000 in infrastructure improvements for the brewery in an adjacent alley, which was repurposed to provide outdoor seating and a pedestrian plaza, designed by local landscape architect Fred Blackley.
The total investment for the project, including property acquisition, was just over $1 million. In addition to private funding sources, the project received a Main Street Solutions Fund grant, an ElectriCities grant and a façade grant from the Uptown Shelby Association. It was also approved for the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit. Construction began in February of 2015 and the brewery opened to the public in August of 2015.
Newgrass Brewing Company created six full-time and eleven part-time jobs. The project returned a previously tax-exempt property to the tax rolls and increased the tax value of the property by nearly 220%. The owners chose the name Newgrass because it reflects the musical heritage of Shelby while also demonstrating the community's interest in moving forward. The project has, indeed, been a catalyst for growth in Uptown Shelby, attracting additional investment and business development as well as increasing the district's intangible "cool factor" that draws locals and visitors.