The Chelan Douglas Port Regional Authority is taking the first steps toward developing an empty warehouse in downtown Wenatchee into a brewery district.

The idea sprang up as the Port was in talks with businesses that were interested in moving into the space recently vacated Badger Mountain Brewing at 1 Orondo Avenue. 

Port Director of Economic Development & Capital Projects Stacie de Mestre says their exploring whether the concept is feasible. 

"We're going to take a high level look at it to see how we could divide up that space, and what type of improvements the Port may need to do, and then run some revenue projections to see if it pencils for us to develop a really unique fun, funky brewery district."  

Blewett Brewing of Leavenworth is in lease negotiations with the Port to move into the former Badger Mountain Brewing space. 

That business and two other  brewing operations that applied to occupy the building are able to pay $7,000-$8,000 in monthly rent.  

The warehouse being looked at for the brewery district is directly across the street at Orondo Avenue and Columbia Street. 

Two other projects to develop the warehouse with retail, restaurant and sports/adventure options have fallen through in the past several years. 

De Mestre said the businesses couldn’t pay enough in rent to offset the costs the Port required to make needed improvements to the rundown warehouse space. 

In 2021, the group S.P.O.R.T. Gymnastics proposed converting three buildings into an athletic adventure area with batting cages and a roof-top bar. 

After several starts and stops, that project was abandoned over financing. 

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.    

The Port spent $4.5 million to purchase several warehouse buildings with the intent to repurpose them for future use. 

de Mestre said the brewery district concept in what's known as the Lineage warehouse is showing promise in the early stages. 

“We’ve always said that we want to do something really special with the Lineage property,” de Mestre said. “It’s the bridge between downtown and the waterfront, and we want to do something different that Wenatchee doesn’t have.” 

­čŹ║Cheers to Pacific Northwest's 2 Top Small Town Beer Scenes­čŹ║

This gallery contains 16 photos and features 7 breweries in Sunnyside and Hood River.

Gallery Credit: Reesha Cosby