The old Agway building on Route 9N in Crown Point, New York was vacant for years, but now you can hear the sounds of construction.
Town Supervisor Charles Harrington got a call about a year ago from a new company.
“I was sitting at my desk one day and had a phone call from this person who said he was interested in properties in Crown Point,” Harrington said.
Harrington says the town has been working with War Canoe Spirits LLC to bring a distillery to town.
War Canoe Spirits received a $500,000 grant from New York State, as part of the Restore New York Communities Initiative.
“It means for the town that there will be employment opportunities, not only in the proposed distillery itself, but all of the spin offs that will also occur,” Harrington said.
Company attorney Tracy Jong, based out of Rochester, says War Canoe Spirits will “focus on producing whiskey, and will be looking to expand over time to other liquors.” She says it will all be done with products sources from local farmers.
“Farmers will be able to make the accommodations necessary in order to be a successful part of this endeavor,” Harrington said.
Harrington checked out the site with Ivan Macy, a new member of the town board.
“Well, it’s nice to get some kind of industry here in town, it’s better to see something in it than vacant,” Macy said.
Macy has lived in town his entire life and says the building was once a box factory and a grain elevator.
“When I was a kid, we lived on a farm about a mile north of here and we used to get our grain here,” Macy said.
Folks in town are getting excited about more job opportunities.
“I thought it was a great idea, it’s going to bring revenue. Crown point needs more, we do,” Tracy Christmas, 49, of Crown Point, said.
Town leaders say the distillery is estimated to bring between 7 and 10 jobs.
Currently, town officials say Crown Point’s biggest employer is the school district, giving about 70 people paychecks in the area.
Many think War Canoe Spirits could welcome the first of future development in Crown Point.
“You know, it’s a nice little community, we don’t have much industry but maybe we’re starting,” Macy said.
Tracy Jong, the company’s attorney, says War Canoe Spirits so far has invested at least $100,000 into the project and hopes to open in 2018.