Entrepreneurs Scott Janish and Mike Tonsmeire anticipate June 2018 opening for new venture
Sapwood Cellars, a new brewery founded by Scott Janish and Mike Tonsmeire, have signed a lease with Feldman Bergin Development and Fortified Property Group for 7200 square feet of space within the Oakland Ridge Center in Howard County, Maryland. The local entrepreneurs anticipate opening the brewery and tap room, focusing on the creation of barrel-aged mixed-fermented beers and hoppy ales, within 8980 Route 108 Columbia in June 2018. A joint venture partnership between Feldman Bergman Development and Fortified Property Group acquired the three-building portfolio comprising 85,000 square feet of flex/office space this fall, which is now approximately 85% leased. Andy Andrews and Scott Matthews of Cushman & Wakefield represented both the landlord and the tenant in this transaction.
“We toured a variety of locations between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and this building emerged the winner based on the availability of space that will enable us to grow, the ample parking to support our tap room and the presence of existing build-out to support a craft brewing operation,” explained Mike Tonsmeire, who presently resides in the Washington, D.C. area. “The space has high ceilings which provides both ambiance and functionality and is easily accessible from MD Routes 29 and 100 in the inner suburbs.”
The name of the brewery ties together the two sides of the company’s planned production which involves sap for the fresh IPAs and wood for the acidic barrel-aged beers. All wood starts as sapwood, the delicate new growth contained just under the bark of a tree and, eventually, sapwood hardens into the heartwood on which barrels are constructed. Cellar represents a brewer’s term for the fermentation space but also evokes the cool, quiet resting places for barrels. Sapwood Cellars will initially produce eight different taps, focusing on hoppy beers and IPAs, and intends to adjust the recipes based on the response. Approximately six employees will eventually work at the brewery as it ramps up to full production.
Both Janish and Tonsmeire have been experimenting as home brewers since 2005, with Tonsmeire serving as a brewing consultant for a brewery in San Diego, while also writing a column for Brew Your Own Magazine. He attributes the recent surge of new craft breweries cropping up throughout Maryland to the outgrowth of home brewing that became legalized in the late 1970s. “Local craft breweries are popular for the same reason that Farmer’s Markets are,” he explained. “People like local, variety and freshness. In our industry, consumers enjoy having a beer poured in front of them by the person that actually brewed it, because they are so knowledgeable about the product. It is like visiting the local bakery and enjoying the interaction.”
Oakland Ridge Center is comprised of 8970, 8980 and 8980 MD Route 108 and are positioned less than one mile from MD Route 29 and approximately five miles from Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Downtown Baltimore is approximately 20 miles away, with Washington, D.C. approximately 25 miles away. 8970 Route 108 is best suited to support the commercial office requirements of end-users. 8980 and 8990 Route 108 offers sixteen foot ceiling heights, as well as loading dock amenities.
“Sapwood Cellars took advantage of the existing build-out in the building, which will save considerable resources, but the owners also recognized the many additional advantages that will support their craft brewing operation,” stated Evan Feldman, Co-Founder and Principal of Feldman Bergin Development. “Our team was able to backfill this space in an accelerated timeframe and we remain extremely confident about the prospects to achieve 100% leasing based on the favorable fundamentals that currently exists in Howard County commercial office sector. This includes a diverse business base that supports an existing 7.2% vacancy rate for single-story office/flex space, a figure that has hovered in the 6.4% range over the past five years.”
Feldman Bergin Development is a privately-held real estate development and investment firm based in Washington, D.C. with a combined thirty years of experience among its principals. Robert Bergin was Director of Investments and Asset Management for Corporate Office Properties Trust. Evan Feldman held executive management positions with Archstone-Smith, Washington Property Company and Fore Property Company. For additional information, visit www.feldmanbergin.com
Founded in 2014, the principals of Fortified Property Group have ownership stakes in more than 20 commercial office buildings and retail centers, with values in the hundreds of millions. The boutique real estate investment and advisory firm focuses on the acquisition and operation of commercial properties throughout the country, with an emphasis on the greater Washington, D.C. market. For additional information, visit www.fortifiedproperty.com