A representative of California Northstate University (CNU) last week told the Citizen that negotiations are underway to relocate Elk Grove’s Dreaming Dog Brewery to a new site.

The business is currently located in the Stonelake Landing shopping center on property owned by the university.

CNU officials want to build a $750 million, 250-bed hospital in an area that includes the western portion of that shopping center, adjacent to its current campus. The property must also be rezoned.

Despite its lack of city approval for its hospital project, the university is already working to relocate the brewery to 2615 West Taron Court, at West Taron Drive, just south of Elk Grove Boulevard.

CNU spokesperson Brian Holloway told the Citizen that Dreaming Dog’s owners are currently in discussions regarding the alternative business location that they are being offered by the university.

“They’re working with the architect and the contractor right now on the designs for the new place,” he said. “It’s going to cost us more than a half-million dollars to move him and it might be a little bit bigger (of a location). But (per an arrangement with the business owners), it has to be the same size or bigger.”

Holloway addressed the landlord’s ability to relocate the brewery.

“The Stonelake (Landing) shopping center, all the tenants signed a lease from the previous owner that has a clause in it called Section 42,” he said. “(That clause) says that any landlord can at any time, for any reason move their store or their restaurant to another location in the center that’s equal or better, and the landlord will pay all the relocation costs.

“Now, Dreaming Dog signed that lease, knowingly, willingly, eagerly. They know we have the option to do that. We don’t need a reason. But we are moving them over to (a) much more active corner, much more traffic, much better location, not hidden here in the back (of a cul-de-sac).”

Holloway emphasized that the new site is a much better location than the brewery’s current site.

“(The current location has) no exposure from the highway, Elk Grove Boulevard or West Taron, and exposure is what a restaurant or a retailer needs,” he said. “You walk by that (alternative site’s) corner and it just screams ‘much better location.’”

Dave Brown, co-owner of the brewery, confirmed this week that he has worked with the architect and contractor at the alternative site.

He also said that he feels that the university is not providing sufficient information regarding what it will take to build the hospital.

“It’s going to take at least two to three years for them to get their local permitting completed,” Brown said. “Once that’s completed, they have to apply to the state organization called OSHPD, which is the (Office of) Statewide Health Planning and Development.

“Typically, it takes three to five years for them to approve a project, and then for them to think that they can build a (12-)story hospital in three years is ludicrous,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense at all. It would be a miracle for them to be able to build this hospital by 2030.”

Holloway responded to Brown’s comments about how long it could take to complete the hospital project.

“I’m not an expert on how long it takes to build a hospital, but all I can tell you is that (CNU’s CEO) Dr. (Alvin) Cheung put a medical school together (in Elk Grove) pretty quick,” he said.

Holloway additionally commented on how soon physical work could begin on the site.

“As soon as we’re approved and we have our construction drawings approved by the state, then work would start to demolish this portion (of the shopping center),” he said.