Mill will be rebuilt to process brewery grains

A unique buyer has been found for the run-down feed mill north of Delmar.

Wisconsin-based business startup Proximity Malt LLC plans to process locally grown grains such as barley, wheat and rye into malt to serve craft breweries around the region, according to Salisbury commercial real estate advisors Bob Rich and Tom Knopp of SVN|Miller Commercial Real Estate.

The 17-acre light industrial property located at 33222 Bi-State Boulevard near Laurel will be rebuilt by Proximity Malt.

Formerly the Laurel Grain Mill, the facility has been unused for more than a decade. The purchase price was $950,000.

Proximity Malt is expected to construct a facility that will have a production capacity of 25,000 tons of malted grain per year, and will employ between 20 and 25 people once in operation.

“This is an exciting, progressive and new industry for the Delmarva Peninsula,” Rich said. “The addition of jobs and investment in the area is significant economic development news for Sussex County.”

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said the brewery-supporting effort fits ideally with First State business growth.

“Delaware has a skilled base of small grains producers to support their raw material requirements,” Markell said. “We welcome their decision to locate in Sussex County.”

Proximity Malt hopes to incorporate some of the existing equipment and storage facilities in the old grain mill. In a statement, Proximity Malt said the old mill “has an iconic grain elevator that will be renovated to meet the company’s storage needs.”

According to the state Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the mill is a designated brownfields project.

Proximity Malt officials have told Sussex officials they might invest up to $50 million in the facility.

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