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Mastry’s Brewing receives $1.6 million for new headquarters

Mark Parker

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St. Pete Beach-based Mastry's Brewing Co. is building a 30,000-square-foot campus at 5805 Park Blvd. in Pinellas Park. Rendering provided.

Pinellas County officials awarded $2.3 million Tuesday to help a local brewer overcome soaring construction costs, and to ensure a relocating San Diego-based defense contractor has a suitable new home.

Commissioners unanimously approved the two recommended applications submitted through the Employment Sites Program’s (ESP) fifth cycle. Mastry’s Brewing Co. received $1.62 million, nearly 71% of the funding.

The St. Pete Beach-based brewer is building an expansive new complex in Pinellas Park. Founder and CEO Matthew Dahm said the project’s scope and building costs exponentially increased since plans began in 2019.

“What we want to do is make sure that we don’t miss any step in executing 100% of what we said we’re bringing, and putting as many people to work as we possibly can,” Dahm said. “While also bringing in new opportunities for growth, economics and business in the City of Pinellas Park that will really lead the way for generations to come.”

The 1.49-acre parcel at 5805 Park Blvd. is part of Pinellas Park’s new mixed-use City Center. Municipal officials selected Dahm to reimagine the property in May 2023.

Mastry’s new headquarters and manufacturing hub will also feature tasting rooms, kitchens and event space. County documents state that labor and material acquisition expenses spiked 40-50% since initial estimates. The total project cost for the nearly 30,000-square-foot facility is now $9.7 million.

Documents also note that increasing the ceiling height from 20 to 30 feet, implementing a chilled water cooling system and transitioning to a steel frame rather than a concrete block building contributed to the funding gap. Dahm said the expansion would triple Mastry’s current manufacturing capabilities.

“We’re estimating that we’re actually going to be able to put over 100 people to work on it,” Dahm said. “We’re talking about a full-on fledged manufacturing entity.”

He told the commissioners that Mastry’s has grown by “leaps and bounds” since its 2014 launch. Dahm added that craft brewing is now ingrained in the local culture and promotes philanthropic and tourism efforts.

The St. Pete Beach location at 7701 Blind Pass Rd. will remain operational. However, Dahm said the new facility will allow Mastry’s to enter new product segments.

“Of course, manufacturing requires equipment,” Dahm said. “Costly equipment.”

Dahm said the new headquarters would serve as a local “economic engine” and bolster the tax base. County administrators agreed and gave his application a score of 83 out of 100.

A site plan for Mastry’s Brewing Co.’s nearly $10 million project. Screengrab, county documents.

San Diego-based Amaratek is relocating to a 33,600-square-foot warehouse in Dunedin. The total development cost is $5.6 million.

David Dumas, president of Amaratek, applied for $673,500 to implement fire suppression equipment, security fencing and a new roof. County documents note that the previous owner stored chemicals without wastewater protection, and Dumas will add a catchment system.

The rehabilitated and modernized facility will include manufacturing and research space for defense applications. While Dumas did not speak at the meeting, documents state new jobs will “span the economic spectrum.”

Those include a “high percentage” of scientists, engineers and skilled tradesmen. County administrators gave Amaratek an ESP score of 92.

Commissioner Renee Flowers said the county’s “wonderful” high schools and postsecondary educational institutions would provide a talent pipeline.

“Thank you so much for coming to our community,” Flowers said. “And please, by all means, take advantage of our young people who will be graduating from college and eagerly looking for employment opportunities that fall right in line with what you’re doing.”

San Diego-based Amaratek’s owner is moving manufacturing and research operations to a 33,600-square-foot building in Dunedin. Screengrab, county documents.

Commissioners approved the ESP initiative in Dec. 2019. Teresa Brydon, business development manager, said they have committed about $24 million to capital projects throughout Pinellas – despite pandemic disruptions.

County officials dedicate 8.3% of Penny for Pinellas taxes to the program. Brydon said staff verifies financial gaps and amounts requested are accurate before an independent firm conducts additional due diligence.

She said “clawback mechanisms” ensure awardees meet terms and conditions over the 20-year agreement. “We’ve paid out over $8.5 million,” Brydon said.

“So, we’re doing fairly well considering it’s new and unique to us.”

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    todd j

    January 27, 2024at10:12 am

    wow if i knew you could make mistakes expanding your private brewery business and the city would bail you out I would have started one too

    This is using public funds for private business – and another over priced beer product. There are thousands of them everywhere. Only a few will survive. But if there’s no risk then hey lets expand and see what happens

  2. Avatar

    Danny White

    January 18, 2024at3:06 pm

    And people cry foul about government funding for the Tropicana Field/Historic Gas Plant District redevelopment! What some people seem to dismiss is that these types of massive projects bring JOBS and TAX REVENUE to the city and county but people also moan about the of the lack of ‘good paying jobs’ in the area! It’s about give and take and compromise.

  3. Avatar

    Tatguy

    January 17, 2024at9:23 pm

    Is this a joke?!Wow

  4. Avatar

    Tim

    January 17, 2024at5:24 pm

    Another government handout!?

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