GOSHEN -- It may not look like much is happening at the former NIPSCO building leased by the Goshen Brewing Company. But the founder of the company hopes to begin transforming the property at the north end of the Mill Race Canal into a brewpub this spring.
No physical changes have taken place in the building at 315 W. Washington St. since Jesse Sensenig began leasing it in November.
Things haven't moved as swiftly as he'd initially hoped, but Sensenig has remained undeterred. Much has been happening behind the scenes.
"We're working through all the details," he said. "There's nothing tangible for people to see that things are going forward, but they are."
Sensenig said he'll soon receive the permits required to actually brew and sell his beer and has also lined up a chef for the restaurant once it opens.
The final floor plans will likely be sent to the state for approval within the next two weeks, with approval expected within four to six weeks.
He will also be looking for bids soon to complete the construction and renovations.
Sensenig said his budget for the renovations and construction is about $300,000.
He's approaching that number quickly, however, so he went before the Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday, Feb. 11, to ask for an extensions related to the lease and option to purchase the building.
"We're kind of teetering on that edge of it making sense to go forward with that building, but we're still pretty confident that that's going to happen," he said.
Currently, he's paying $50 per month to lease the building. That payment will increase to $250 per month in November 2015.
Originally, the period to lease for $250 was to end in 2019, but the extension provided unanimously by the Redevelopment Commission means Sensenig will pay $250 per month through the end of October 2021.
The extension also extends Sensenig's chance to purchase the building from the Commission.
He will have the opportunity to actually buy the property off the Commission's hands until the end of 2021, with the final sale closing required by March 31, 2022.
If Sensenig would opt not to exercise that option by the deadline, he could continue leasing the building for $1,000 per month.
The fact that the building has been empty for years has made planning difficult, but Sensenig believes keeping the industrial aesthetic intact is worth the trouble.
"With the building itself, it's been challenging as far as layout goes because it needs an entire new floor and making sure that we have enough space for seating and for the brewing," he said.
"We're still going with exposing the brick and the beams and keeping that industrial, kind of raw, but cozy environment."
Sensenig said he hopes construction will begin this spring. Rehabilitating the building could take about five months, which would leave a possible opening for Goshen's newest brewpub in the early fall.
"It's going to start rolling here at some point," he said.