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October 09, 2012

Governor Shumlin Announces $1.8 Million in Downtown Tax Credits Addt'l 2012 Tax Credits Provide $500,000 to Aid Downtown Properties Damaged by Irene

Gov. Peter Shumlin has announced the allocation of $1.786 million in tax credits through the Downtown Program to support nearly $26 million in building improvements in downtowns and village centers across the state. This year, in addition to traditional credits which spur building investment and revitalization in Vermont’s community centers, $500,000 in flood credits were allocated to help repair and rehabilitate buildings damaged by the flooding in 2011.

Competitively awarded by the Downtown Development Board, this year’s tax credits went to 30 projects in 17 communities. Credits will support the reconstruction of the Brooks House in Brattleboro–severely damaged by fire in April 2011, promote new investments in the vacant and underused Blanchard Block in Barre, and Catamount High School in Bennington, as well as support the recovery of 14 flood-impacted businesses in Barre, Quechee, St. Johnsbury, Waterbury and Wilmington.

Other projects include the conversion of underutilized space of the Lago Building in Newport to hotel rooms to bring new vitality to the downtown, repairs to support the pottery and glass-blowing operations at Simon Pearce in Quechee, and assistance to aid local efforts to rebuild and re-open the doors of Dot’s in Wilmington – both devastated by Irene. A complete list of tax credit projects is below.

“The downtown tax credit program is a proven tool that stimulates much-needed local economic activity and job creation across Vermont,” said Govern Shumlin. “By adding flood credits to target communities particularly affected by Irene to the very successful state tax credit program, we have been able to contribute to the recovery of vital downtown businesses around the state, while promoting new growth and investment.”

The tax credit program is one of the benefits of Downtown and Village Center Designation and makes it possible to revitalize hard to finance projects in community centers across the state. Most of the funding supports state-mandated code retrofits like elevators and sprinklers systems that are cost prohibitive to many commercial building owners. This year’s flood credits provide additional aid to downtown communities devastated by the spring floods and Irene.

Noelle Mackay, Commissioner of the Department of Economic, Housing, and Community Development and Chair of the Downtown Board, praised the program’s dual-focus this year.

“Around Vermont we have seen inspiring stories of recovery in the wake of an unprecedented natural disaster,” Mackay said. “The very deserving recipients of the 2012 flood credits have made a commitment to rebuilding in their local communities and investing in the vitality of our downtowns. Combined with the efforts of other great tax credit projects this program continues to meet the goal of promoting vibrant and sustainable communities.”

Vermont’s Downtown Program is an incentive and training program that helps maintain Vermont’s compact development pattern by targeting state resources to promote the efficient use of land, infrastructure, and resources. Over 100 of Vermont’s Downtowns and Village Centers are designated, and these communities receive priority for consideration for state funding, increased Act 250 thresholds, and tax credits to promote vital communities.

Project Summaries

(Please contact Caitlin.Corkins@state.vt.us 802-828-3047 for building owner contact information.)

8 South Main Street, Barre – The Barre City Firehouse, which was erected in 1904, was recently rehabilitated to house a thriving restaurant – Ladder 1 Grill. Tax credits will allow further development of the upper stories of this historic building into a Boutique Inn, filling a the critical need in Barre for overnight lodging accommodations.

Total Project Cost: $170,900; Tax Credits awarded: $63,218

14 North Main Street, Barre – Standing on a prominent downtown lot across from Barre’s city park, the Blanchard Building (1904) is a largely unused four-story, 48,000 SF brick commercial building, designed by Vermont architect Lambert Packard. Tax credits will enable the building’s rehabilitation, creating new commercial space on the ground floor, with office space at the upper stories – room for as many as 200 workers.

Total Project Cost: $3,000,000; Tax Credits awarded: $287,500

230 School Street, Bennington – The Catamount School project plans to re-open the vacant 40,000 SF former high school building for a variety of community and recreational purposes, including: indoor soccer programs and camps, retail space, a snack shop, dormitories, and health and fitness-related leased offices. The tax credits will assist with installation of a new sprinkler system, other code upgrades and rehabilitation of the building’s elevator.

Total Project Cost: $697,921; Tax Credits awarded: $ 58,170

20 Park Street, Brandon – A centerpiece in Brandon, the Brandon Inn has provided overnight accommodations since 1786 and currently has 78 rooms at its second, third and fourth floors. Tax credits will enable repair and modernization of the building’s elevator in order to comply with current codes while maintaining the building’s historic character, and ensure continued operation of this successful business which hosts approximately 25 multi-night bus tours a season.

Total Project Cost: $112,500; Tax Credits awarded: $50,000

For additional information contact: Sarah and Alois Pattis, mail@brandoninn.com, 802-247-5766

128 Main Street, Brattleboro – The Brooks House (1871) was severely damaged by a fire in April 2011 and subsequently closed. Tax credits will help fund the rehabilitation and re-opening of this local landmark, including installation of a new sprinkler system and mechanical systems, which will house nine new retail spaces and three restaurants, 20,000 SF of office space, and 25 market rate apartments.

Total Project Cost: $11,600,000; Tax Credits awarded: $717,500

4 North Street, East Dover – This building housed two of the three commercial businesses in East Dover village (General Store and Post Office). The Post Office recently renewed its lease and will be celebrating 150 years in this building in 2013. The General Store had been closed for four years. Historic tax credits and code credits will help in the owner’s efforts to re-open the store as community gathering place.

Total Project Cost: $250,000; Tax Credits awarded: $32,200

5358 Vt. Route 100, Granville – Located in the upper village of Granville, the General Store currently provides local residents with a community center and local market, services missing for more than 12 years. Tax credits for ADA and safety upgrades will enable further use of the General Store building including a deli and second floor apartment. Upon completion the project is projected to provide five full time jobs in a community with very few employment opportunities.

Total Project Cost: $74,900; Tax Credits awarded: $21,075

28 Mill Street, Hardwick – This commercial block houses two successful businesses, the Hardwick Hairport and Gagnon’s Video and eight economical apartment units. Small, efficient housing units are geared towards employees and interns of local agricultural businesses Highfields Composting, High Mowing Seeds, and Pete’s Greens. Tax Credits will help cover the costs of code upgrades for this building.

Total Project Cost $277,000; Tax Credits awarded: $25,000

74 Portland Street, Morrisville – The 9,300 SF Elmore Block, also known as the Water and Woods Building is one of the largest available commercial and office spaces in downtown Morrisville. Tax credits for rehabilitation and code upgrades will help provide much needed retail space on the ground floor and office space at the upper stories, and support the long-term viability of this downtown.

Total Project Cost: $307,500; Tax Credits awarded: $63,150

110 Portland Street, Morrisville – The United Way of Lamoille County is developing a program to provide transitional housing to at risk families, housed at 110 Portland Street. The building’s first floor will also serve as a job training site. Tax credits will help forward this program, New Foundations, by enabling façade and code upgrades to the building.

Total Project Cost: $265,000; Tax Credits awarded: $25,871

95 Main Street, Newport – Building on the success of their award-winning restaurant, the owners of Lago Trattoria, plan to rehabilitate underutilized second floor space of the c. 1920 Lago Building to create seven hotel guest rooms. Tax credits will assist in funding necessary code upgrades as well as exterior repairs. The expanded business is expected to create 11-13 new jobs.

Total Project Cost: $1,010,200; Tax Credits awarded: $142,200

150 Main Street, Newport – The Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center, LLC plans to rehabilitate this empty department store to serve as a production and retail center for local and regional foods and beverages, supporting local agriculture and local companies. Tax credit will assist in funding façade and code upgrades for this 19,840 SF building.

Total Project Cost: $920,000; Tax Credits awarded: $118,605

15 Kimball Hill Road, Putney – In 2009 the United Church of Putney closed as a congregation and the 1841 church building was donated to the Putney Historical Society. Since then, the building’s central location and large sanctuary hall has provided a place for community suppers, performances, lectures, and films, serving 25-125 people with 1-4 events weekly. Tax credits will assist completion of façade and code upgrades to transform this former church into a vital performing arts center.

Total Project Cost: $1,325,000; Tax Credits awarded: 126,136

1792 Quechee Main Street, Quechee – The Parker House Inn, a French gothic structure built in 1863 houses a seven-room inn, employing 13 staff members. Damaged by flood waters during hurricane Irene and in need of mandatory code upgrades, tax credits will help offset the costs adding a sprinkler system to the building, and completing façade upgrades.

Total Project Cost: $247,000; Tax Credits awarded: $66,000

1760 Quechee Main Street, Quechee – Nearly all of the mechanical systems associated with the pottery and glass-blowing operation of Simon Pearce were destroyed during flooding caused by hurricane Irene in August 2011. The company, which employees 188 people in Vermont, and 89 at the historic Quechee mill location is also a generator of green power for the state. Tax credits will assist in completing required code upgrades of the facility.

Total Project Cost: $2,127,783; Tax Credits awarded: $30,478

36 North Main Street, St. Albans – The second and third floors of this historic brick commercial block, comprising roughly 4,800 SF is currently vacant. Tax credits will enable code upgrades to these floors which will be rehabilitated to provide additional commercial space in the heart of St. Albans Historic District. The City plans to spotlight this project as “show piece” for redevelopment in the Designated Downtown area.

Total Project Cost: $121,000; Tax Credits awarded: $25,000

148 Eastern Avenue, St. Johnsbury – Long neglected, the Prioa Building in downtown St. Johnsbury was the victim of flooding as a result of hurricane Irene. Tax credits will assist in funding code upgrades, and rehabilitation of this c. 1930 brick building. The completed project will provide space for two commercial businesses and two market-rate apartments.

Total Project Cost: 123,800; Tax Credits awarded: $32,380

39 South Main Street, White River Junction – Hotel Coolidge is a local landmark and a vital part of downtown White River Junction, housing hotel and extended stay lodging, a housing facility for students, commercial storefronts, office rentals and a public meeting space. Tax credits will enable required code upgrades to the building’s elevator and ADA access.

Total Project Cost: $80,322; Tax Credits awarded: $40,161

6 North Main Street, Wilmington – Damaged by flooding as a result of hurricane Irene, code credits will aid in bringing this central downtown building in Wilmington’s historic district back into service. The entire first floor has been rehabilitated and is now home to Beyond Imagination – a clothing and design boutique opened by a local artist, and the building also houses 2 apartment units.

Total Project Cost: $130,000; Tax Credits awarded: $13,750

16-20 State Street, Windsor – This currently underutilized historic commercial building dates to 1880. Tax credits will help fund installation of a code-mandated sprinkler system encouraging full occupancy for two commercial units and two apartment units, including the only four-bedroom apartment option in downtown Windsor.

Total Project Cost: $27,250; Tax Credits awarded: $13,625

Flood Credits:

162 North Main Street, Barre – The basement of the DM Miles Building (1898), one of Barre’s largest downtown commercial buildings, and home to up to 20 subsidized and low to moderate income families was flooded during hurricane Irene, wiping out the building’s elevator, and electrical systems. Tax credits will help make replacement of these systems possible along with façade improvements to the building’s commercial storefronts.

Total Project Cost: $250,000; Tax Credits awarded: $81,750

50 Main Street, Brattleboro – The Latchis Hotel and Theatre sustained substantial damage in August 2011 as a result of Irene and was forced to shut its doors. This local landmark has a significant economic impact in downtown Brattleboro, serving over 65,000 patrons in 2010 and circulating over $1 million through the community. Tax credits will help offset the costs of repairing flood damage and completing mandated code upgrades.

Total Project Costs: $671,325; Tax credits awarded: $88,813

Waterbury Projects:

Waterbury was particularly hard-hit by hurricane Irene in August 2011. The community lost an estimated $3.7 million in labor and $10.7 million in sales revenue. Over 1,500 state employees were displaced, affecting the community’s economic sustainability. Tax credits, including flood credits on five buildings in Waterbury will assist in flood clean-up and code upgrades for downtown buildings which provide office and commercial space as well as aiding in the recovery of a 105-year family-run funeral home.

Further Project Details Below:

• 87 & 89 S. Main, Total Project Cost: $95,590; Tax Credits awarded: $9,170

• 48 S. Main, Perkins Parker Funeral Home, Total Project Cost: $102,526; Tax Credits awarded: $10,253

• 30 Foundry, Total Project Cost: $122,670; Tax Credit awarded: $3,222

• 46 S. Main, Total Project Cost: $251,772; Tax Credits awarded: $56,893

52 Bridge Street, White River Junction – Renovation of this 12,000 SF commercial block was underway before hurricane Irene struck, forcing first floor tenants out. The tax credits will assist in flood clean-up as well as previously planned façade and code upgrades returning 10 available commercial units into service.

Total Project Cost: $209,900; Tax Credits awarded: $74,245

Wilmington Projects:

Downtown Wilmington was decimated by hurricane Irene which left the entire business community in-operable. A symbol for resiliency after the devastation, tax and flood credits will provide much-needed assistance for four downtown businesses.

• 19 South Main Street, Total Project Cost: $92,000; Tax Credits awarded: $9,200 – flood credits will assist in offsetting clean-up costs not covered by insurance in this downtown building which houses two successful businesses, Apres Vous restaurant and Twin Valley Hair Salon, employing 6-9 locals.

• 5 West Main Street (Dot’s), Total Project Cost: $802,000; Tax Credits awarded: $92,087 – flood and code credits will enable the re-opening of Dots Restaurant, a local landmark which was forced to close following Irene.

• 18 North Main Street (Old Red Mill), Total Project Cost: $340,324; Tax Credits awarded; $77,561 – flood and code credits will provide much needed assistance to the Old Red Mill, severely damaged by Irene and the largest employer in the downtown Wilmington Historic District.

Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: October 09, 2012 08:58:08
Governor Peter Shumlin | Policies

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