Developers break ground on delayed Washington brewpub project

Article originally published on on October 5th, 2023

Developers, financiers and city officials broke ground Thursday morning on the future site of Tangled Roots restaurant and brewpup in Washington.

The $6 million project on the town square was originally planned to open in December of this year. However, fluctuating construction costs and other unexpected issues delayed the timeline. CL Real Estate Development, or CLRED, is now aiming for a November 2024 grand opening.

“We love building things. We love seeing them go up,” said Nathan Watson, CEO of CLRED. “It’s one of the most exciting and fulfilling things that we do in our business.”

The building is designed by architect Dirk Lohan, who designed the corporate headquarters for McDonald’s, among other projects.

Watson said Lohan’s design takes special care to gel with the surrounding buildings and overall feeling of the idyllic town square. For example, the first floor features large retail openings like the other shops in the area. The open second floor includes a timber frame that raises the building to the same height as the other two-story buildings on the square.

“This [building] has the challenge of bringing modern architecture into a historical context,” said Watson. “And I think we’ve done an excellent job.”

The construction contract with Global Builders totals about $4.5 million, before additional costs associated with creating and running a customer service business like a restaurant. When completed, the complex also will include six, short-term rental spaces that will have to be approved by the City of Washington at a later date.

Watson estimates annual revenue from the business at $5 million and $6 million. City officials estimate $120,000 annually in sales tax revenue and between $75,000 and $80,000 annually returned to the TIF fund that made the project possible.

Kelly Pohl is a local investor and supporter of the project. She reached out to Tangled Roots and developers after deciding she wanted to make her former flower shop, at the corner of Walnut Street and Washington Square, into the home of a new rooftop bar.

“It’s beyond my wildest dreams,” Pohl said. “Our team has kept us involved from the beginning. They’ve asked our opinions, and just really included us in the whole process. So we really appreciate that.”

Pohl anticipates the new business increasing traffic for other businesses on the square.

The brewpub isn’t the end of CLRED’s plans for the area. The firm also own two buildings a few doors down Walnut Street. Watson said the plan is to convert the former Knights of Columbus building and the closed Prep Freeze Cook into an event center, an outdoor event space and a retail space.

“We’ve always said that once we’re in a community, we’d like to keep on building,” said Watson. “It helps our existing investment, but also, in the challenging environment that we’re in, we need to diversify our revenue sources on the project.”