Chattanooga Whiskey will locate downtown at Fourth and Broad streets at the former John Ross Building rather than the Southside, it was announced Thursday.
Tim Piersant, co-founder with Joe Ledbetter on the first whiskey operation in the county since Prohibition days, said the heavy-traffic site is a better opportunity. He also noted that the four-story building that was once used by Newton Chevrolet has 60,000 square feet of space.
The $6 million project is expected to launch next spring and be open by the fall of 2014.
Mr. Piersant said visitors will be able to tour all four floors and watch the whiskey-making operation.
He said the building will have a new attractive facade.
It will be renamed The Tennessee Stillhouse.
Distilling, aging and bottling will all take part in the building.
The location is near where the Chattanooga Brewing Company once had a similar operation.
Chris Anderson, city councilman for District 7, called it "the biggest downtown development since the Aquarium."
He said it "will greatly enhance our reputation as a tourist destination."
Thomas Palmer, architect for the project, said, "Transforming this building will not only improve and bring more attention to Chattanooga's downtown, but will also help a local business grow and become something significant."
Initial employment will be 25, and it is expected to double after the first year.
The project was made possible after the Legislature passed special enabling legislaton.
Chattanooga Whiskey has been selling an Indiana-made product with a local label.
The city already has several beer micro-breweries, but not a whiskey distiller.