Downtown Norton’s Project Apple is approaching peak ripeness.
Sugar Hill Cidery owners Greg and Jennifer Bailey hope to conduct a “soft opening” sometime in August, but a date has not been confirmed, according to City Manager Fred Ramey.
Construction inside and outside of 815 Park Avenue began in the spring and is pushing forward as July winds down. Sugar Hill Cidery, whose proprietors launched Sugar Hill Brewery, will occupy the front of the property.
The property is owned by the Norton Industrial Development Authority. The Baileys are leasing a section of it. The city’s farmers’ market will continue to operate from the back of the property.
As of mid-July, Ramey said the cidery project was moving along on time, and city officials expected to turn the space over to the Baileys around the month’s end.
Kitchen equipment is being installed. Walls and floors are nearing completion. Sugar Hill has held a job fair to get employees hired.
During the spring, officials said the cidery aims to employ six full-time and 24 part-time workers within a year.
The cidery will include a restaurant and will also offer Sugar Hill Brewing Co. craft beers.
Norton received a community development block grant for downtown revitalization that is helping pay for overall property upgrades. That includes improvements to the exterior. A contractor is now doing demolition of an area beside the front building which will be used for outdoor seating and a fire pit.
The parking area will not be completed by the time Sugar Hill opens, Ramey said. That portion may not be finished until late autumn.