Winery seeks lease of community center
Tecumseh City Council members will be considering a request at its meeting on Monday, Oct. 21, from J. Tree Cellars to lease approximately 2,000 square feet of the community center for a wine tasting room. “They’ve been interested in the community center for quite awhile,” said Paula Holtz, Tecumseh Economic Development Director. She said the winery is owned by Jon Treloar, who lives in Tecumseh with his wife.A couple of years ago, the city issued RFPs (Request for Proposals) when looking to potentially sell or find a re-use for the community center.“He was one of those we originally spoke with, but that didn’t come to fruition back then,” Holtz said. “Later, he asked if the city might consider a lease agreement, and it looks like we might be coming to terms on that now.”J. Tree Cellars operates a facility in Blissfield, and Holtz said she believes the company has been looking to add a more visible location.“They love the community center — who doesn’t?” she said. The agreement would be subject to council approval, and would involve a proposed lease of $1,050 per month. “If all goes as planned, we’ll also be going before the planning commission and city council for a rezoning request,” Holtz added. “It’s currently zoned residential.”The city would also need to seek an addendum on a lease agreement with the Lenawee County Department on Aging because they would be utilizing space different than what they currently are using.“They would have dedicated use of the kitchen, and that’s dedicated space they’ve never had,” said Holtz. “They’ve had to share with other rentals before. We’ll also be asking for site plan approval.”She said one of the main components in working with J. Tree Cellars would be an opportunity for outdoor seating.“That would be a nice addition in that setting during the summer months next year,” Holtz said. “We’re really excited because it really adds to our offering here in Tecumseh. Wineries really are destinations.” She said the fact that Tecumseh would have two in the community and several in the adjoining vicinity would open up the door for wine tours.“People really spend the day visiting wineries,” Holtz said. “And this is kind of a big deal and we’re excited about the potential re-use of the building and believe it would be a fantastic fit for that gorgeous building right on M-50.” To visit the winery’s website, go to www.treeswines.com.