Historic restoration project in Valparaiso Indiana by Journeyman Distillery transforms an abandoned Anco Factory into a 140,000-square foot destination facility. American fare restaurant and steakhouse, karaoke, the distillery, the brewery, whiskey garden, and event spaces will all be repurposed.
The site, located on the 300 block of South Campbell, dates to one of the first woolen mills in Porter County, established just after the Civil War. Through the years, the location was home to a wagon and carriage company, soap company, Fontaine Brothers Pin Factory, and, most recently as the Anco windshield wiper factory. Since the mid 1980s, the property has been virtually vacant.
“Journeyman Distillery in Valparaiso is an exciting next step for the Welter family,” said Journeyman Owner and Operator Bill Welter.
“As a city, we recognized the potential of this property with its proximity to our historic downtown,” said Mayor Matt Murphy who was a member of the Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission in 2017 when the commission acquired the brownfield property that included the factory.
A year later, Bill Welter presented his vision of elevating the property by transforming it into a second Journeyman Distillery, similar in nature to the project in Three Oaks Michigan where Journeyman transformed the former Featherbone Corset Factory into a true destination including distillery, restaurant, and event space.
“”Part of this exciting development will house the City’s Transit Center and the shared parking lot will also serve passengers of our Dash commuter bus service,” stated Mayor Murphy.
A project of this size took the cooperation of several organizations, including the Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission, Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA), Northern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC), and the Indiana Economic Development Commission (IEDC).
Bill Welter went on to thank Rob Thorgren and Patrick Lyp of the Redevelopment Commission, the IEDC, RDA, NPS, family and friends for the support given to the project.
To prepare the location for development, the City of Valparaiso has invested in necessary environmental cleanup, preserved the historic water tower, and made infrastructure improvements, including aligning the street.
Journeyman intends to begin construction in the coming weeks, with plans to open in stages, beginning early in 2023. For more information about Journeyman Distillery, visit Journeyman.com.
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