Turn IB Adult Education Center Into Microbrewery?

Published June 4, 2013 by Imperial Beach Patch.

In past discussions of budget shortfalls, Councilwoman Lorie Bragg has suggested that the city attempt to attract a card room or rent space on lifeguard towers to advertisers.

Neither of those ideas have come to fruition yet, but during discussion of the city’s operating budget last month Councilwoman Lorie Bragg said the city has to get creative and think differently.

“We just have to do things differently here now. I think, these years [ahead], it’s just it’s going to be different,” Bragg said.

One way to do that could be turning the adult education center on Palm Avenue into a microbrewery.

“One of the things I haven’t had the time to bring up is the way we do business with other agencies like the school district,” she said at a May 15 meeting where the 2013-­15 budget was approved.

“I mean we’re sitting on a piece of property that, you know, maybe we’d like to turn that into something else like a microbrewery. You know, so just thinking differently. Yeah I’m talking about the adult ed center on Palm Avenue. Yeah I’d like turn it into a microbrewery.
“They’re popping up all over the county and I tell you what: It may be worth looking at,” she said.What do you think of the idea? Would Imperial Beach be better served by a microbrewery where the adult education center now stands? If not a microbrewery, what kind of business do you think would be a good fit?

With cuts by the Sweetwater Union High School District School Board and changes in how the state funds adult education, classes at the center may decline next semester. Adult ed classes have also been offered at Mar Vista High School, San Diego Job Corps and the Boys & Girls Club of South County, Imperial Beach.

In past years City Councilmembers discussed the idea of selling the property. The two-story adult education center is approximately 14,000 square feet, according to City Clerk Jacqueline Hald.

Bragg said she has not talked with a specific business and at the moment a microbrewery at 170 Palm Ave. is just an idea.

Last year Coronado Brewing Company showed interest in a 3rd Street and Palm Avenue property but Filippi’s Pizza Grotto leased the corner lot instead. One of the two brothers who own the company lives in Imperial Beach.

At the same May 15 meeting Councilman Ed Spriggs said he wants to see the city support more business ventures. A reserve account created at the meeting to set aside millions for capital improvements should support public-private partnerships, Spriggs said.

The land has a history in the City of Imperial Beach. The Imperial Beach Volunteer Fire Department and first Imperial Beach City Hall operated in the 100 block of Palm Avenue before moving to headquarters in the 800 block of Imperial Beach Boulevard.

A hostel also operated at 170 Palm Ave. before it became the Imperial Beach Adult Education Center, according to Councilman Brian Bilbray.

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