MAINEVILLE, Ohio – The historic Peters Cartridge factory could be in the manufacturing business once again as early as next year, according to a hopeful small business owner.
Instead of producing munitions for the U.S. military, though, Kyle Hackbarth plans to brew craft beer inside the 102-year-old facility at 1415 Grandin Road, located along the Little Miami Scenic Trail in Maineville.
"This is the once-in-a-lifetime chance to be in a historic building," Hackbarth said.
Hackbarth and his business partners named their business the Cartridge Brewing Co. to honor the history of the factory, which was built in 1916.
The Peters Cartridge Co. and later the Remington Arms Co. produced munitions in the 31,460-square-foot facility until the end of World War II. The National Park Service added the factory to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, citing its role in supporting U.S. war efforts.
After local development firm Bloomfield/Schon purchased the factory in 2014, it announced a $25 million plan to convert it into a 130-unit apartment complex with 15,000 square feet of commercial space.
“We are kind of the cornerstone tenant,” Hackbarth said of Cartridge Brewing.
The brewery's 15-barrel brewing system, kitchen and full-service restaurant will occupy 10,000 square feet of the factory. There also will be outdoor patio seating.
"We are looking at doing sours, ciders and other styles," Hackbarth said.
The only uncertainty at the moment is when construction will begin. Hackbarth and Bloomfield/Schon are waiting for approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to break ground on the redevelopment.
In 2009, the EPA issued an order calling for the cleanup of the factory and surrounding area due to soil contamination including lead, copper, mercury, boiler ash and slag. The EPA also added the property to its National Priorities hazardous waste sites list in 2012 and ordered DuPont Co. to clean it up. DuPont doesn’t own the property, but the EPA held it responsible because it owns Remington Arms, which was in charge of the factory during World War II.
The $5 million environmental cleanup began in April 2015 and took nearly a month to complete.
This January, local officials and the property owners submitted a memorandum asking the EPA to fast-track the deletion of parcels of land surrounding the factory from its list of hazardous waste sites.
When asked about when that approval might occur an EPA spokesperson emailed the following response:
"EPA does not provide approval for the future reuse of sites, but does provide restricted use information and/or guidelines for what could be built on a site after it is cleaned up. In the case of Peters Cartridge, EPA anticipates completing the partial delisting of the site in the fall, 2018. The partial deletion decision will be published in the federal register and subject to a 30-day public comment period and subsequent 30-day comment review period before becoming effective."
Hackbarth said he and his partners hope to begin construction immediately after the 30-day public comment review period ends. He hopes to open Cartridge Brewing Co. sometime next year.
Hackbarth will work with Platte Architecture + Design and Furlong Building Enterprises for Cartridge Brewing Co.'s design and construction. KZF Design will assist with structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering services. Helms Workshop is handling the brewery's branding.
“We are going to have to wait and be patient and let this develop,” he said. “It will be worth it.”
WCPO senior manager Maxim Alter contributed to this report.