'Coolest building I've ever seen': Tupps Brewery to relocate to historic site with $11.3M grant from McKinney

building rendering
Tupps Brewery is looking at a new, larger location closer to downtown McKinney. (Conceptual rendering courtesy city of McKinney)

Tupps Brewery is looking at a new, larger location closer to downtown McKinney. (Conceptual rendering courtesy city of McKinney)

Tupps Brewery is partnering with the city of McKinney on a multimillion-dollar project to create a unique destination and catalyst for development on the city's east side.

The initial deal calls for an $11.3 million grant from McKinney Community Development Corp. to renovate the city's historic grain site and allow Tupps to expand its brewery operations as well as add more entertainment options, including an outdoor bar and water feature.

The proposal has been in the works for months. Keith Lewis, president of Tupps Brewery, initially presented his plan at the MCDC's May 28 meeting. It was later approved at that board's June 25 meeting and by the McKinney City Council on July 7.

The brewery is looking to move to the historic McKinney grain site at the corner of Greenville Road and Dungan Street across from The Mill at East McKinney, Lewis said during his presentation. With the relocation, Tupps Brewery would be one of the first major developments on the east side of downtown, and its new location would connect the east side of Hwy. 5 to downtown McKinney.

“It’s strategically positioned just east of downtown, and we think we can do something to unify that,” Lewis told the MCDC board on May 28. “With all of the development on the east side that the city has planned, we think we can really be a catalyst to jump-start that and to get that really going.”


The project will span 4.5 acres and include office space, a barrel aging room, an enclosed production facility, an outdoor bar, outdoor entertainment areas, play areas for adults and children, a water feature, and a 10,000-square-foot taproom, which is more than triple the size of its current 3,000 square-foot taproom. The new location will also have its own kitchen, where Tupps could bring in a vendor or chef to offer food.

The goal of the project is to create a craft-focused community, Lewis told the board. The location will focus on beer, entertainment, music, food, artists and craftsmanship, he said. There would be designated spaces for craft vendors, such as coffee roasters or bike repairs, he said.

Lewis asked the MCDC for an $11.3 million grant to renovate the grain facility and turn it into a space suitable for the brewery and taproom.

“It’s the coolest building I’ve ever seen,” he said during his presentation. “But when you get inside the building, you may want to throw up. It’s pretty rough. But we really think that we could really make that an interesting spot.”

He estimated it would take about two years before Tupps could officially move into the new site.

As part of the agreement with the MCDC, Tupps Brewery will enter into a long-term lease for the space, with an option to own. The agreement also includes a 2% revenue share with the city.

At the meeting Lewis explained how Tupps Brewery had outgrown its current space since opening five years ago.

“Every tank is full,” Lewis said in his presentation. “We are basically completely sold out and trying to stay up with demand.”

At its June 25 meeting, the MCDC board approved the grant application for $11.3 million with the terms discussed during the board’s closed session.

Rick Glew, vice chair of the board, said the MCDC’s strategic priorities include redevelopment on the east side of Hwy. 5, making downtown a cultural center and bringing in destination projects. This project meets those priorities, he told Lewis.

The terms of the MCDC agreement were also approved by the McKinney City Council at its July 7 meeting, City Manager Paul Grimes said.

The city currently owns the McKinney grain facility and will have to sell that land to the MCDC so that the corporation will be the landlord as the Tupps project advances. Then, under the agreement, Lewis can lease the site from the MCDC. That vote on the sale could take place in August or September, Grimes said.

“We're excited about the project,” Grimes said. “It's going to be great for the redevelopment area on the east side and the Mill District. And it's going to be a really, really exciting time for that particular part of McKinney.”

By Miranda Jaimes
Miranda has been in the North Texas area since she graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. She reported and did design for a daily newspaper in Grayson County before she transitioned to a managing editor role for three weekly newspapers in Collin County. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 covering Tarrant County news, and is now back in Collin County as the editor of the McKinney edition.


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