Smyrna approves public land sale for downtown brewery

StillFire Brewing, a Suwanee brewery, is planning to purchase land in downtown Smyrna to open a second brewery along Atlanta Road. (Courtesy City of Smyrna)

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StillFire Brewing, a Suwanee brewery, is planning to purchase land in downtown Smyrna to open a second brewery along Atlanta Road. (Courtesy City of Smyrna)

Smyrna approved the sale of nearly one acre of public land to brewery owners in a controversial vote Tuesday night.

City Council voted 5-2 to allow the Downtown Development Authority to sell 0.94 acres of undeveloped property to StillFire Brewing for $600,000.

Property spanning 1.44 acres is located at the intersection of Atlanta Road and Powder Springs Street. StillFire, a Suwanee brewery, plans to spend $7 million to create its second location on its portion of the land. Smyrna intends to develop the remaining space into a public park with the $600,000 from the sale, and separately build a $4 million, three-story public parking deck.

The vote followed months of public meetings, protests and a December town hall where many residents expressed opposition over the proposed brewery’s proximity to the Smyrna Community Center, a church, and the park that is planned.

No public comment was held before officials cast their vote Tuesday but people in attendance held up signs with wording such as “Table the vote.”

To address some residents’ objections, the land sale contract has 24 requirements for the brewery, City Attorney Scott Cochran said.

Included in the requirements, the new StillFire location will be two stories instead of the three levels that were originally planned. If the brewery decides to sell the property, Smyrna has the first option to repurchase, Cochran said.

StillFire already planned to have rotating food trucks at the new location but now a permanent food service kitchen with a window to serve the public will also be a part of the development, brewery General Manager Aaron Bisges said.

Officials said the StillFire Brewing location planned for the site will help turn the downtown area into a destination for visitors and also encourage locals to stay in town when going out for food and drink.

Councilmen Glenn Pickens, Austin Wagner, Travis Lindley, Tim Gould and Lewis Wheaton voted in favor of the land sale. Council members Susan Wilkinson and Charles Welch were opposed.

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