WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WENY) -- The building that is formerly the site of Horseheads Brewing at the Seneca Harbor Marina was discussed at the Schuyler County Industrial Development Agency meeting Wednesday night.

The IDA voted in December 2023 to end the lease with the former tenant, Horseheads Brewing, and grant a new lease to another brewery, Lucky Hare. 

IDA Chief Financial Officer and CEO Judy Cherry told the board Wednesday that a lease with Lucky Hare Brewing should be executed within 48 hours. Once that is complete, Cherry said it would allow the Lucky Hare to finish renovations of the space. A potential opening date is not yet set.

"We are all but done with the lease," said Cherry. "[The] insurance the county had some things they wanted included so we will work through that with Lucky Hare. So they are working through that, so we should have an executed lease probably within 48 hours. "

RELATED: Schuyler County IDA moves forward with Lucky Hare lease for Seneca Harbor Marina location 
The building at the Seneca Harbor Marina was previously rented and operated by Horseheads Brewing from June 2022 through October 2023, which included an initial one-year sublease, and an amended six-month sublease extension that was signed in May 2023. 

The Schuyler County IDA did not grant Horseheads Brewing a new lease agreement, following a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. After reviewing five proposals, and IDA committee narrowed them down the two - Horseheads Brewing and Lucky Hare Brewing. After two rounds of scoring using a rubric, the IDA voted in December to grant the new lease to Lucky Hare. 

As WENY News reported in December, on the first scored rubric, Horseheads Brewing received a score of 46.5. Lucky Hare Brewing received a score of 45.75. After the committee reviewed the response to their follow up questions from the IDA, they re-scored the two proposals. The results of that rubric show Horseheads Brewing with a final score of 47, and Lucky Hare Brewing with a score of 49. 

Nearly five months later, the new lease with Lucky Hare has not yet been executed. 

The owners of Horseheads Brewing, Lilly Brothers, LLC have been challenging the IDA's decision to end the lease with them. Lilly Brothers Brewing, LLC, filed an Article 78 lawsuit in the Schuyler County Supreme Court in February. 

Among the issues outlined in the suit, the document argues Horseheads Brewing's lease agreement with the IDA had a right of first refusal - a legal clause in a contractual agreement that gives an existing tenant the first opportunity to remain in the property. 

In response, the Schuyler Co. IDA has filed a motion to dismiss, citing a number of issues, including an argument that the right of first refusal was not negotiated in the lease extension, as required by law. An appearance date is scheduled in Schuyler County Supreme Court on May 17th.


Disclosure: Horseheads Brewing and WENY-TV's parent companies are owned by the same individuals.