CARMEL, N.Y. - Plans to build a distillery at the old Guideposts property on Seminary Hill Road in Carmel took another step toward fruition last week after the state legislature passed a bill that will exempt it from certain restrictions and allow the project to move forward.

 Sen. Pete Harckham and Assemblyman Kevin Byrne announced the passage of the measure that will permit the distillery to both manufacture alcoholic beverages as well as sell them as a retailer.

 “My goal is to make the 40th Senate District as business-friendly as possible,” Harckham said. “We moved heaven and earth to introduce and pass this legislation, in record time, so that a new distillery…could proceed with their plans. Carmel will soon have a new business that brings new jobs to the area and new revenue to the town.”

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Alexandrion Group plans to invest more than $100 million in the new distillery. An initial investment of approximately $40 million will be used for the construction of a 118,400-square-foot distillery, visitors center, and a tasting room.

County officials said the new distillery will create more than 100 jobs throughout the state, including 60 at the Seminary Hill location, as well as increase tourism in the region through various production tours and premium tastings.

The new distillery will produce premium spirits tailored to the U.S. market, such as whiskey, bourbon, gin, brandy, and vodka, and will export them to the 50 countries that Alexandrion Group is currently supplying around the world.

“Introducing and passing this type of legislation in less than three weeks is essentially unheard of in Albany—and we got it done,” Byrne said. “It’s part of our job as legislators to partner with our colleagues in local and county government to encourage economic growth and job creation. Alexandrion’s investment in Carmel has the potential to bring in over 100 quality jobs to the area and ease the tax burden on residents of Putnam County, the town of Carmel, and the Carmel Central School District.”

The project was first announced in July 2017, and was developed in conjunction with New York State, which offered Alexandrion $2.7 million in performance-based tax credits through the Excelsior Jobs Program.

The Alexandrion Group is the leading producer, distributor and importer of spirit beverages in Romania. Alexandrion’s portfolio of spirit brands includes Alexandrion Five Star, Seven Star and Alexandrion 100 Romanian Brandy, Brâncoveanu VS, VSOP and XO Vinars, SABER Elyzia and Zolmyr Fruit Spirits, Kreskova Vodka, Alexander Vodka, Alexander Flavored Vodka and Alexander Gin, among others.  Most recently, Alexandrion Group acquired the Halewood Romanian wine portfolio adding to its collection of wine and spirit brands.

“Alexandrion is sincerely thankful to Sen. Harckham and Assemblyman Byrne for their efforts and support in pushing this bill through,” said Stelios Savva, Alexandrion CEO. “Thanks to the hard work of the Senate and Assembly we will be able to build the largest distillery on the East Coast and employ over 100 New Yorkers. We look forward to many years of partnership.”

Town Supervisor Ken Schmitt was also grateful to Harckham and Byrne for helping pave the way for a project that he believes will be a boon to the local economy.

“I applaud Sen. Harckham and Assemblyman Byrne for bringing this bill to the floor and getting it passed so quickly,” he said. “The new distillery is the shot in the arm that we needed in Carmel for local economic development. It will be a real boost to our economy and the local merchants will all benefit.”

The bill, S6336, amends the alcoholic beverage control law in relation to exempting certain lands that restrict manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers from sharing an interest in a liquor license. Existing law prohibits an entity from manufacturing and selling a product as a retailer. For businesses such as breweries and distilleries, Harckham said, the restriction impedes their ability to do business.

The new law takes effect immediately.