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The old brewery is so sturdy that Roets’ son, who lives below the damaged apartment, heard only the sound of glass breaking when the hillside smashed through the upper unit’s wall.
“He said it sounded like someone dropped a box of Christmas ornaments,” Roets said.
But some of Roets’ investment in getting the space ready — like painting and installing floor coatings — will be wasted if he has to start over someplace else.
“We’re trying to keep him in Jordan,” said Tom Nikunen, Jordan’s interim city administrator. The city had welcomed the prospect of a microbrewery, eager to be part of the craft brewing trend that’s spread from the cities to the suburbs.
In December the city approved a $5,000 grant to help Lee and co-owner Kevin Breeggemann finance building improvements connected to the microbrewery development.
Nikunen said the city now is helping the building owners pursue assistance from the state as well as FEMA. Klehr said her organization has steered them to the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, hoping that the building’s status on the national register could help in the effort to get aid.
Lee is hopeful, too, while understanding that she and Breeggemann are in the early stages of a long bureaucratic process. Their plight is made worse by the fact that without tenants, they no longer have rental revenue to finance the ambitious repair project.
“We’re really struggling,” Lee said. “If this drags on for a long time, it’s going to be tough to hang on.”
Susan Feyder • 952-746-3282