Proof finds new home along SOMO corridor

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By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 20, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A popular Tallahassee brewery is set to call a new place home.

Proof Brewing Company announced Monday that it'll be leaving its Railroad Square location in exchange for a bigger building. That new building is the old Coca-Cola bottling factory on South Monroe Street. The warehouse is roughly three times the size of its current location.

"The space that we were in, we were outgrowing at a much faster pace than we ever dreamed," said Proof Co-Founder Angela Burroughs.

The new location will allow the company to grow its production and will give it the space produce 33,000 barrels a year, as opposed to the roughly 6,000 it can create right now. The venue will also include a gift shop, tasting room, patio space, kitchen, stage and more.

Proof will be joining the growing number of companies that are redeveloping the "SOMO" corridor, or the area of South Monroe street that's just past downtown. The city and county have been pushing to revitalize the area, with hopes that recent projects like Cascades Park, FAMU Way and the pedestrian bridge would spur redevelopment.

Proof Co-founder Byron Burroughs said his company saw the potential of the location.

"It's always good to get into an area that's going to redevelop, before it redevelops not only from a cost basis aspect, but it's great to be a catalyst for growth," he said.

And, others are seeing it too.

Happy Motoring, a bar and food truck hub, opened earlier this month just across the street from where Proof will open. And, further down the street, Big Bend Care Point has opened.

Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Vice President Jay Revell said typically places that attract people- like a brewery- in turn attract more development.

"You want to look for where people are spending time," he said. "What happens is you find other business opportunities in the area start figuring out how to take advantage of the fact that people are spending more time and more money just a few blocks away from them."

According to the Office of Economic Vitality, Proof's expansion will create 20 new positions with a salary higher than Leon County's average wage, create a total economic impact of 102 jobs, nearly $4.8 million in total income or wages, and exceed $23 million in total economic output.

The company has also received approval for a 70 percent reimbursement for development fees. Plus, a 70 percent reimbursement of the City of Tallahassee property tax and reimbursement of the Leon County property tax equal to the amount reimbursed by the City over seven years under the Targeted
Business Program.

The new location is on track to open in late 2018 or early 2019. The owners hope it'll have a positive impact on the surrounding community.

"We hope to develop community in this area and have really good synergy amongst all the other development and businesses around us," said Byron Burroughs.

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