Better digs, less money

These 6 businesses took advantage of crashed real estate prices to trade up for new stores and office space.

1 of 6
Larger quarters for an historic microbrewery

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Jane Hancock
Co-owner of Maritime Pacific Brewing Company

After 19 years in business, Jane Hancock and her husband decided that relocating the Maritime Pacific Brewing Company, a microbrewery and restaurant in Seattle's Ballard District, was a gamble they were ready to make.

"It used to be sort of a sleepy sort of town -- we are right by the water here," says Hancock, whose business moved a few blocks away. "All of a sudden it became chi-chi."

When the recession hit, the Hancocks had to stay optimistic that they would still be able to fill seats in a bigger space. The relocation was pricey: They invested in reconstructing the restaurant, equipping a larger brewery, and shutting down for weeks.

"We had to take it on faith that we will continue to have a popular product, and that this downtime isn't going to hurt us," Hancock says about the decision.

But Hancock thinks the deal they got on their new, larger space is worth the risk. The landlord is working with them to build out the new facilities. They've also negotiated a long lease term and have options to buy in the future.

"We are getting so much more for our money," Hancock says. "And we are building out to suit our production."

They hope to reopen in December. With the larger space -- and higher monthly rent -- the Hancocks are relying on increased revenue from bottling more beer and serving more food in the dining area to make the move pay off.

"This is what we're going to do -- in spite of the fact that there are obvious signs of empty buildings around," Jane Hancock says.

By Alina Dizik, contributing writer

NEXT: A boutique opts for a same-street upgrade
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