Enki Groundbreaking

I was invited to the “groundbreaking” on April 25th, 2016, at a building that was constructed some years ago.  The one-level part was built in 1981, the two-story part in 2000.

For all of these past many years, it’s been called the HEI building because it was owned by HEI, a micro-electronic company that became the largest employer in Victoria.

HEI declared bankruptcy in 2015, and the building became vacant and for sale.

It was purchased by John Hayes and Dan Norton this spring of 2016 and they are gearing up to move their Enki Brewing operation from their downtown Victoria Creamery building to this HEI building.

Said John Hayes, “Let’s call it the Enki Building from now on.”

So I drove around the entire Enki Building at least twice, trying to figure out where the “groundbreaking” was going to occur.  It occurred on the other side of these evergreen trees.

The scene evolved into people with hardhats and gold shovels and a very long yellow banner.

The banner is slated to be displayed  on the new Enki Building, informing traffic on Hwy 5 how to find the downtown Creamery Building.

Those with the hardhats and gold shovels included (l-r):  Ann Mahnke (Victoria Parks & Public Works Director), Dan Norton (Enki Owner), Mia Blanchett (HGA Architects and Engineers), Councilmember Tom Vogt, Coucilmember Lani Basa, David Kalogerson (President, KALCON Construction), Mayor Tom O'Connor, Councilmember Jim Crowley, Councilmember Tom Strigel, City Manager Laurie Hokkanen, Brian Collins (KALCON Construction), John Hayes (Enki Owner), Steven Dwyer (HGA Architects and Engineers), Ben Landhauser (Community Development Director), Duane Johnson (Sr. Project Manager/KALCON Construction).

John Hayes does most of the talking for the Enki partnership.

But Dan Norton is very much in the picture.

John and Dan posed with architects and renovators who will turn the building into a place to brew beer, sell beer, and drink beer.  Other space in the 46,000 square foot building is available for lease.

John and Dan also posed with the five Victoria councilmembers.  Left to right:  Mayor Tom O’Connor, Tom Strigel, John, Lani Basa, Tom Vogt, Jim Crowley.  Dan in back.

John gave a mini-tour of the building.  He said many dumpsters have already been filled and hauled away as part of the large renovation at hand.

The brewery will consume the two-story part of the building(s) and they’re seeking retailers for the one-story part, and perhaps even a restaurant.

John pointed out that the drop ceiling has been removed.  The brewery project Phase One is about 14,000 square feet.  No date has been given for completion of renovation or moving date to the new site.

Editor Sue