Niles, Mich., (Sept. 25, 2023) — Round Barn, a Michigan beer, wine and spirits producer, received Niles City Commission approval on Monday for a tax abatement to rehabilitate the historic Grace United Methodist Church into a restaurant and a tasting room for Round Barn beverages. It will be Round Barn’s third location, the first in the Niles city limits.

The approved abatement will freeze the current taxable value of the property for the duration of 10 years, as it is estimated to cost over $1.3 million to rehabilitate and adapt the church to meet state restaurant and tasting room laws. Cornerstone Alliance provided guidance through the abatement process and was on-site during the commission meeting to answer questions.

"We are delighted Round Barn is growing in Niles,” said Ryan Millans, Niles Community Development Manager. “This investment in the city is a wonderful addition supporting our economic development efforts. It is expected to add (15) permanent jobs when the restaurant/tasting room is complete, in addition to the jobs of those accomplishing the renovation construction.”

The abatement freezes the taxable value of the building and exempts the new investment from local taxes. The school operating tax and the State Education Tax (SET) are still levied on the new investment. Once the terms of the abatement are completed the property will be reassessed, providing an increased tax value to the city.  

Matthew Moersch, owner of Round Barn Winery, said, “Niles is a great location to expand our operations and directly serve more people who enjoy our beverages. It’s a significant growth milestone for us. Cornerstone Alliance efforts were significant in facilitating the application process with The City of Niles and providing strategic guidance to support this expansion project.”

“Niles City Commission understands the value of encouraging business investment within the city limits and making that success as smooth as possible,” said Zach Vaughan, Cornerstone Alliance Project Manager. “Niles and Round Barn efforts prove Berrien County can be a great place to grow business.”