ALAMEDA -- The neighborhood that's already home to St. George Spirits and Rock Wall Wine Company will soon be a must-stop for beer lovers, too.
Faction Brewing Company has secured a lease from the city to move into what was once an aircraft hanger at the former Alameda Naval Air Station, where business owners Roger and Claudia Davis hope to produce about 8,000 barrels of craft beer annually.
Along with a production facility, a sales center and a tap room are planned for the building, allowing customers to sample the various ales, pilsners and stouts that will emerge after the brewers begin fermenting the hops, malt and other ingredients.
The business is expected to open by spring, according to city officials.
The startup brewing company will occupy 32,500 square feet of the building -- or about half the available space -- at 2501 Monarch St., the same street where St. George and Rock Wall are now located.
City officials call the strip "Spirit Alley."
"It's cool," Ivan Frimane, 26, an Alameda resident and self-confessed beer lover, said about having a brewery open inside Building 22 at the former military base. "There's enough space out there to have festivals and other promotional-type things when it's up and running."
Christian Eglin, 24, said the brewing company will provide a financial boost to the area, now known as Alameda Point.
"It's good news for the city and the East Bay," Eglin said. "It means
Nanette Mocanu, division manager with the city's Community Development Department, said confidential talks are also now under way with another alcohol-based business to lease the remaking portion of the former hanger.
It took about 18 months to secure Faction Brewing Company as a tenant, Mocanou said Tuesday, when the City Council unanimously approved the lease.
The effort included attending a craft brewers conference in March 2011 before Faction submitted a proposal earlier this year, she said.
What can help make leasing some buildings at Alameda Point difficult is their cavernous size, plus many have industrial configurations not suitable for every tenant, according to city officials.
"Through lots of effort, we were able to attract a microbrewery for half of Building 22," Mocanu said.
The brewing company will not pay rent for the first three months since it will be obtaining permits and approvals for construction and will not be occupying the space.
The initial rent will be $12,025 each month, or $144,300 annually, and will be adjusted over five years until it reaches $13,000 each month, or $156,000 annually. A new rent will be then established at the market rate under the deal worked out between the brewing company and city.
Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him at Twitter- .com/Peter_Hegarty.