UPDATED: CRA Board to Vote on $450K Grant for Proof Brewing Company

UPDATED: CRA Board to Vote on $450K Grant for Proof Brewing Company


On Monday morning the CRA Board voted against a staff recommended $450K grant to help Proof Brewing Company renovate a recently purchased  building located on South Monroe.

After Mayor Gillum and City Commissioner Nancy Miller offered support for the project, the motion failed 3-2 with city commissioners Ziffer, Maddox and Richardson voting against the grant.

The vote followed public comment which featured speakers for and against the grant.

Original Report

The CRA staff is recommending that the CRA Board approve a $450,000 grant request from Proof Brewing Company for renovations to their new location on South Monroe Street. The Proof Brewing Company recently purchased the old Coca-Cola factory located at 1320 South Monroe street in an effort to expand their business.

Proof requested the grant when they realized the plan for renovation was $460,000 short of available bank financing.  The funding request will be provided through the taxes generated after the improvements are added to the tax roll, which is projected to happen in 2020.

The old Coca-Cola factory’s 32,000 square foot building had been vacant for a number of  years.  The estimated total cost of the project is $6.4 million. This includes the property purchase, construction, furnishings, fixtures, and equipment.

The rationale for the use of  CRA monies is that the grant will help renovate an abandoned building, improve the area, create jobs, and support a company that is involved in multiple community charities.

As part of the negotiation, Proof has agreed to partner with the City’s TEMPO (Tallahassee Engaging in Meaningful Productivity for Opportunity) by creating an apprenticeship program for program participants 21 or over in need of employment opportunities.

Also, the Citizen’s Advisory Committee advises that Proof meets Office of Economic Vitality’s Minority, Women, and Small Business Enterprise Division’s standards.

The CRA Board will vote on the recommendation at their next meeting, Monday, July 9th.

15 Responses to "UPDATED: CRA Board to Vote on $450K Grant for Proof Brewing Company"

  1. Wow…you people have a no idea how this works….Its not YOUR TAX MONEY…. It can only be spent in the 2 areas… Its seed money, not there base money…Wow, you people should study the subject before u open ur mouth….Just …wow.

    1. Not our tax money? What other source of funding does a government have? Please don’t say “fire services fees.”
      I first thought you just had a bizarre penchant for excessive use of periods in posts. However, using Morse code, I have translated the odd series of dots you seem so fond of using when posting: “S,” “H,” “H,” “S,” “S,””H,” “S.”
      “U” is “.._” so my hope is you were trying to spell an exaggerated “SHUSH” and will then take your own advice if you can’t post with more civility.

  2. Let’s do away with the CRA and return the excess city money back to the people and the local businesses. Come on Tallahassee, aren’t you getting tired of all this? The fact that the city has half a million to hand out is proof (pun intended) that we are being overburdened with taxes and fees! And our local politicians do not have the maturity and smarts to handle this much excess money!

  3. I think this is the first time CRA Director Manning has been denied one of her schemes. Finally.. Thank you Commissioners Maddox, Ziffer and Richardson for stopping this gravy train that JT has been on for years. They can stay where they are, or heaven forbid, secure private funding and go for it.

  4. Now that they won’t get almost half a million of our tax dollars, here’s my advise to Proof:
    Have a beer and get over it.

    1. 2 out of the 5 commissioners stated they changed their votes to No after reading Snidely’s post. They stated “that Snidely dude is so on to us and we better start finding new and more devious ways to steal from the taxpayers”. And even though Curtis blindly followed along with his buddies in the No vote he stated that he “still did not see a cloud”.
      All of the of the 5 commissioners laughed and agreed in unison they feel nothing bad for them will ever come from the FBI whitewash…err…I mean investigation.
      **Truth in posting: OK I made most of this up for your entertainment!**

  5. Please remember 3 of the six Mayoral candidates have been in local positions of responsibility while the Criminal Redistribution of Wealth Agency (CRA)has been molesting the taxpaying citizens of this community. Think about that on August 28th.

  6. Vernon, you are correct. Did you know city departments are expressly disallowed to seek CRA dollars to fulfill projects they may have that fall within the CRA zone? It is widely accepted within the city that those dollars are for private investors, and if you are a city staff member who has an infrastructure project that requires: bike lanes, stormwater ditches, street lights, street signage, sidewalks, whatever it may be, you will not be able to get CRA dollars to fulfill that project to provide essential city services. Even though that is what the state of Florida created CRAs for.

    1. Not a huge fan of the 850, but do enjoy several of their other varieties and have seen Proof being sold as far north as Asheville, NC and it is on the racks at the local Costco.
      That said, I can’t argue with Vernon. Perhaps we ask If this was taken from us and then not used for its intended purpose (like the Performing Arts Center) how about not finding something else to spend it on and just giving it back to us. I won’t hold my breath in anticipation.

  7. As long as there is FREE MONEY being given…there will be people asking for it.

    Instead of giving taxpayer money to “friends” to start their businesses, this money should go to the basic services that a “normal” city does. Until there is no need for building additional sidewalks, roads, schools, or maintenance to keep the city running… Until there is no need to hire more public safety officers, and purchase the equipment they need to keep the community safe…Until there are public officials that shun even the appearance of corruption…the CRA needs to be abolished.

  8. Yeah FSU kids will drink it at first and also some locals too. Their beer will enjoy the same initial bump much like every new restaurant does in Tallahassee. The esteemed local newspaper will run several “paid to play” advertisements disguised as “news” promoting the hipness and cool factor of the horse piss…uhh I mean beer. Which will be followed up by our crooked self serving kick back loving CRA bragging about how correct squandering a $450,000 grant on this long shot gamble was.
    However the product will fall out of favor soon as the new wears off. The business will fold and we will eventually realize our CRA has flushed a taxpayer funded $450,000 grant right down the toilet.
    Before we come to realize the folly of the CRA $450,000 give away the owners may even start pouring product down the drain – pretending it was sold – while they figure how to get out of town with as much of our $450,000 grant money as possible. And another scenario very likely to occur is The Edison will purchase huge quantities of the horse piss…uhh I mean beer and pour it down their drains to help feign fake sales.
    Let me just take the moment right here and now to say it…”I Told You So!!!”

    1. “Snidley”,
      When you anonymously comment via social media you immediately lose all credibility. TR reports newsworthy issues in our community and your inflammatory comments and sophomoric attempts to be funny or cute are the reasons there are only 3-6 comments, from the same 3-5 people, per TR story. You’re actually hurting their publication. Most reasonable people will not share or commment on their stories because they do not want to be associated or seen to have the same views as a clown like you.
      Its clear you do not know a thing about our community/city and very clear you know nothing about Proof Brewing Co.
      You know nothing about their company, products, amazing employees/ownership and/or their place in our community.
      You may not like the CRA, you’re not alone, I don’t like it either, just don’t be a jackass.
      Don’t associate a company/organization with the bad things the CRA has been known for thus far because they applied for available grants.
      Instead of trying to come up with crude childish remarks about local companies paying taxes and making our community a better place to live, try coming up with viable, sensible solutions to some of the issues you’re so passionate about

      1. I’m sorry your friends missed out on that CRA money Sir. Feel free to take your hurt feelings out on me. I can take it my man.
        Think of positive things it will make you feel better.

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