Distillery planning to build in Danville is ‘IJW Whiskey’

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 23, 2017

Danville officials weren’t kidding when they said the new distillery that’s considering locating on Lebanon Road is working fast on the project: Within days of Danville approving a zone change making the distillery project possible, a site plan application has been filed with Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning for a first phase of the project.
The site plan application lists the name of the business as “IJW Whiskey” and under “officers directors, shareholders or members” of the business, it lists David Morduchowitz with a Louisville address.
Morduchowitz had not returned a call asking for comment as of Friday. An email address for him ends in ijwwhiskey.com, but that URL did not lead to a functioning website Friday.
Jody Lassiter, president of the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership and the listed contact for the current property owner, the Boyle County Industrial Foundation, on the application, said Friday he couldn’t comment yet on the project.
“I’ve not been given permission to comment, state incentives have not yet been requested, and the agreement has not been concluded,” he said. “Therefore, this is still preliminary.”
The site plan application proposes building three rickhouses — warehouses used to store and age barrels of alcohol — on a small portion of a 142-acre tract of land currently owned by the Industrial Foundation. The plan does not include construction of a “presentation center” or a main entrance off of Lebanon Road. Both are elements listed in a larger plan for the property submitted to P&Z when it was considering whether to recommend a zone change.
The three rickhouses would be accessed from a road connecting them to next-door Wilderness Trail Distillery.
P&Z could approve the site plan application at its next meeting, scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 3 at Danville City Hall. That’s less than a month from when P&Z first held a hearing on the plan Dec. 6 and recommended a zone change for the land from agricultural/residential to business industrial.
The larger, conceptual plan for the property proposes using the 142 acres to house a “presentation center and office,” a “distillery” building and 17 rickhouses.
Winfield Frankel, an attorney for the Industrial Foundation, has said the project is initially expected to create five to 10 jobs.
“Depending on how much expansion actually occurs on the back end of the property, it’s really hard to pinpoint how many new jobs are going to be created,” he said during a zone-change hearing in early December. “… It could be 50, it just depends.”
Lassiter has said the distillery business would have “low job intensity” but “high capital intensity,” with thousands of barrels of bourbon generating “a huge amount of property taxes,” especially for the Boyle County School District.

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