There's a new proposal to establish a "craft" district in an empty warehouse between downtown Wenatchee and Pybus Market. 

The warehouse would be turned into a hub of several micro-breweries surrounded by restaurants and retail businesses. 

Craft District Image from Okanogan Ave. and Columbia St. from CDRPA
Craft District Image from Okanogan Ave. and Columbia St. from CDRPA

Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority Director of Economic Development & Capital Projects Stacie de Mestre says the concept started when a micro-brewery across the street went out of business. 

"This is an idea that stemmed from the proposals we received for the Badger Mountain space," said de Mestre. "It showed us that there were people, specifically breweries, interested in locating in that location." 

The Port owns the warehouse and is hoping to move forward with the "craft" district if a couple of anchor tenants can be found. 

There's also the possibility the 40,000 sq. ft. building could be redeveloped in phases.   

Two other plans from private developers to redevelop the entire warehouse failed to materialize. 

In 2021, the group S.P.O.R.T. Gymnastics proposed converting the building into an athletic adventure area with batting cages and a rooftop bar.  

That project was abandoned when the $17 million price tag for redevelopment proved to be unfeasible.  

Then in 2023, The Port started moving forward with the firm JAB Investors, which had plans for office space, retail businesses, restaurants, and even an exercise facility.  

JAB had plans to also move its entire fabrication business to the building.   

Again, the financing didn't work out, and JAB ended up moving its business to another location. 

Forte Architects of Wenatchee did extensive work on the S.P.O.R.T. Gymnastics proposal and formulated the new concept for the "craft" district. 

Among other things, the new concept calls for windows to be tall and skinny rather than wide. Forte determined after doing a structural analysis that the narrower openings would be more cost-effective. 

The new proposal also calls for the warehouse to be divided into three areas. 

AREA A, the north section of the building, is 14,200 sq. ft. Options for this space include: 

  • One large brewing & distribution facility 
  • One large, attached restaurant & bar area with mezzanine 
  • One medium restaurant/bar with dedicated outdoor patio space. 
Craft District Interior - from CDRPA
Craft District Interior - from CDRPA

Plans call for the middle section of the building, AREA B, to be torn down to create an outdoor patio space for dining and live music. 

de Mestre says there's plenty of support for outdoor amenities. 

"A lot of the feedback that we've gotten from the public is, 'Ya know we've got great weather here and not many options for outdoor dining or outdoor entertainment,'" de Mestre said.  

Craft District Patio space - from CDRPA
Craft District Patio space - from CDRPA

AREA B at about 8,400 sq. ft. would have these options: 

  • One medium restaurant/bar with dedicated outdoor patio space 
  • Three rentable food truck stall areas with semi-private & communal seating 
  • One raised stage platform for live music 
  • One plaza seating/fire table area 

AREA C would front the corner of Okanogan Ave. and Columbia St. 

At 17,200 sq. ft., it could house marquee feature tenants and these options: 

  • One medium brewing & distribution facility with small, attached bar area 
  • One medium brewing & distribution facility 
  • One medium attached restaurant & bar area with mezzanine 
  • One small tasting area with patio access 

When securing a tenant to occupy the old Badger Mountain Brewing space across the street, the Port received a handful of well-qualified proposals from breweries eager to locate in the prime location between downtown and the waterfront. 

They all said they were able to handle the $6,000 per month rent that would be required.  

The port is working to secure 3-4 anchor tenants, ideally from the creative sector. Research by the State Department of Commerce came up with benefits from an economy based on creative businesses, including culinary arts and beverages, cultural institutions, fashion, and music/performing/visual arts. 

The Port has also begun identifying state and federal funding to start the first phase of redevelopment.   

If successful, the port would accept proposals from any businesses who wish to locate in the Craft District to infill the remaining tenant spaces, according to de Mestre. 

Best Steakhouses in Washington

Here are the best places to get delicious steaks in Washington, according to

Gallery Credit: Uncle Dave