McMenamins Taps Crowdfunding

The McMenamins family that owns 52 pubs and venues around the Northwest is looking to crowdfunding to help support a new development just north of Seattle. 

The project will transform a complex of buildings into a hotel, brewpub and theater in Bothell, Wash., and is apparently seeking up to 30 investors to cover the cost of the development.

That idea impressed city officials, who’d received several other proposals that called for public funds, the Oregonian reported.

“McMenamins definitely fit perfectly with the vision,” City Manager Bob Stowe told the paper. “I don’t believe another possible tenant or end user could produce the same draw and the same sort of stimulus to the community.”

The plan calls for investors to front $8 million of what’s expected to be a $26 million development in return for shares in a limited liability corporation, the paper reported. In return for minimum investments of at least $250,000, the investors will get an 8 percent return from rent paid to the LLC and could make more if the development’s value appreciates.

“We really hope there are people who are really interested in how the community develops,” Mike McMenamin told the Oregonian. “In the end, I think it’s a lot more fun when you have a lot more folks who really know what you’re doing and believe in the community investment. Your investors are your fans, and feel like they’re part of the project.”

And if the crowdfunding works this time around, expect McMenamins to use a similar plan in the future.

‘We have several projects in Oregon that we’d like to get a jump-start on,” McMenamin told the paper. “If this works out well here, we’ll certainly entertain that notion with those.”