Romanian Spirit Producer Looks to Establish First US Distillery in Putnam County

John Jordan | June 2018

CARMEL, NY—The Alexandrion Group, is looking to spend perhaps in excess of $50 million to establish its first US distillery in Putnam County.

The company, which announced last July its intent to expand to the US, says it will spend more than $40 million in the construction and renovation of its new 120,000-square-foot distillery and tasting room at 39 Seminary Hill in Carmel.

Once the project is completed in 2020, the distillery will produce premium spirits including whiskey, bourbon, gin, brandy and vodka. The company reports the project will create 102 new jobs over five years. State officials announced that the firm selected the Carmel site on June 22.

Empire State Development worked closely with the Alexandrion Group to bring the project to New York, offering the company up to $2.7 million in performance-based tax credits through the Excelsior Jobs Program. The administration of Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell as well as the Putnam Economic Development Corp. have been working on the distillery project.

“The Mid-Hudson Valley’s vibrant economy has attracted businesses and residents from across the world, and with the addition of the Alexandrion Group’s first US distillery, this region will continue to flourish,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “The company’s investment is proof-positive that New York is a premier destination for food and drink enthusiasts, and we look forward to Alexandrion Group’s continued success in the Empire State.”

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said, “Putnam County is thrilled to welcome this exiting project to the Mid-Hudson region. The Alexandrion Group’s first U.S. distillery will generate new jobs, new investment, and new growth for our local economy and add to the momentum we’re seeing across Putnam County.”

“We are excited about the opportunity and we are hopeful it secures all the necessary approvals,” said Jill Varricchio, president of the Putnam County Economic Development Corp.

Kenneth Schmitt, supervisor for the Town of Carmel, says the new distillery is proposed to be developed at the current location of the Paladin Center, a civilian and homeland security education venue that specializes in public safety and tactical defense training. Previously, the property was the home to Guideposts Publications for many years.

Schmitt says the Alexandrion Group is proposing a $50-million renovation to the existing facility/site. The project is currently before the Town of Carmel Planning Board. He adds that the distillery is “one of the largest commercial projects that has been proposed and considered to be located in the Town of Carmel in many years.”

He adds, “This type of commercial business is the ‘shot in the arm’ that this community and region has been seeking for many years. Our local merchants and eateries will see an increase in customers as a result of the newly created jobs. The distillery will be a destination for many visitors and tourists adding to a huge boost in our local economy.”

“We are delighted to work together with the local authorities in a large project that will introduce Alexandrion Group to the American market. It is an opportunity to share from our expertise in order to develop new products tailored for the U.S. customers,” says Nawaf Salameh, chairman of the Alexandrion Group.

Earlier this year, the Hudson Valley scored another victory with another international spirits producer when Asahi Shuzo Co., Ltd., maker of world-renowned DASSAI premium Junmai Daiginjo sake, announced it would build its first U.S. brewery in less than a mile from the Culinary Institute of America campus in Hyde Park in Dutchess County.

The brewery—located at the corner of Route 9 and St. Andrew’s Road—is to begin construction in spring 2018, with a scheduled opening in early 2019. The brewery will total 52,500 square feet, including a retail space, and will be open for public tours. Asahi Shuzo will invest more than $28 million in the facility and create 32 new jobs. At full capacity, the brewery will produce 332,640 gallons of sake a year.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth