Oregon Largest Distillery Looking to Move

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16 Feb Oregon Largest Distillery Looking to Move

An earlier rendering shows what Eastside Distilling had in mind for a 41,000 square foot facility on Southeast Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Though the company moved in about two years ago, it has terminated its lease, effective at the end of June, and is on the hunt for a new home.

Not even two years after it began a multimillion buildout of its current 41,000-square-foot home at 1805 S.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Eastside Distilling is moving out and is on the hunt for a new home.

According to a Form 8-K filed earlier this month with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Eastside has entered into a lease termination agreement with its landlord, an entity called PJM Bldg. II LLC. The lease will terminate June 30, 2017, as opposed to the original lease, which was set to expire at the end of October 2020.

Eastside initially announced its move into the building in August 2014.

The filing notes that “alleged claims raised by Eastside” triggered the termination of the lease. In a press release issued today, Grover Wickersham, executive chairman of Eastside, said that the move is aimed at saving occupancy costs while allowing the distillery “to use more advanced production equipment that could not have been permitted at MLK.”

Robert Blum, a managing partner with Eastside’s investor relations firm Lytham Partners, said the company is currently in negotiations for a new facility but nothing has been signed yet. He said the move out of the MLK site is based largely on improvements that need to be made in order to increase production efficiencies.

“Whether they want to move into something larger or grow into something, I just don’t think they have made any determinations yet,” he said. “They are still in negotiations, but the plan is definitely to stay in Portland.”

According to Eastside’s most recent financials, the company had sales of $796,222 in the third quarter of 2016, up from about $492,000 in the same period the year before.

The Business Journal’s most recent list of the largest Oregon distilleries based on sales within the state, had Eastside at No. 3, with $2.5 million in sales in 2015. Bendistillery, with $5.5 million in sales, was No. 2 and Hood River Distillers, with $48.1 million, topped the list.

Jon covers real estate for the Portland Business Journal. Sign up for his daily newsletter to hear about new projects and get behind-the-scenes looks at Portland’s rapidly changing built environment.

Courtesy of The Business Journal

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