ANwSU moving its offices to Kennedy Brothers building

VERGENNES — The Addison Northwest Supervisory Union has signed a lease to move its Vergennes headquarters from Green Street to the Kennedy Brothers building on Main Street, and both parties said they were happy with the deal.
ANwSU Superintendent JoAn Canning said the move, which will take place next June, will save about $12,000 a year, and the new space, when complete, will better meet the district’s needs.
The Kennedy Brothers space will not be larger, as both that and the existing ANwSU Green Street offices are around 3,000 square feet, but Canning said the new headquarters is being configured to include better meeting space, both for larger and smaller groups.
“This office space is not conducive to departments working together,” she said of the Green Street offices. “The new space will promote more collaboration, coordination and confidentiality.”
And given the tough financial times challenging ANwSU, Canning said the $54,000-a-year price tag for the first two years of the five-year Kennedy Brothers lease looks better than the projected amount of $65,800 if the district had stayed put.
“Every little bit helps,” she said.
Meanwhile, Kennedy Brothers co-owner Robert Feuerstein said the signing moves the main brick portion of the Kennedy Brothers complex ever closer to full occupancy, counting a couple ventures he and wife, Lillian Kennedy, themselves have in the works.
“We’ve signed five tenants since we took over in January of last year, so I’m very pleased with the progress,” Feuerstein said. “There are always inquiries coming in. I expect we’re not going to have any space left in the brick building before long.”
The addition of ANwSU means that of the roughly 30,000-plus square feet in the main brick building, what remains available is one 500-square-foot space on the first floor that Feuerstein said could be two smaller slots, and two second-level spaces, one of 900 square feet and one of 600 square feet that could also be split.
Tenants include Vermont Sun Fitness, Vintage Fitness, Green Mountain Wireless, and Tapia and Huckabay PC, an accounting firm.
The Feuersteins have their own Kennedy Brothers’ office space, and they plan to add a 2,700-square-foot café near what will be a main entry reconfigured to face Main Street, and to create a 3,800-square-foot “coworking” space.
The “KB Café,” Feuerstein said, will have at least 70 seats, plus an outdoor seating area, and will open some time in the first half of next year.  
The coworking space — “KB Coworking” — will be a largely open area that will be ready early in 2015. Feuerstein said it will offer shared office amenities to small companies, startups and freelance workers who might also reap creative and social benefits working in a professional space rather than at home. Rents for smaller portions of the larger space can be paid on a month-to-month basis, or longer-term arrangements can be made, he said.
Eventually, the building owners will turn their attention to the white wing to the left of the brick main building. But Feuerstein said that part of the structure requires work that would be best dovetailed with construction projects designed to meet the needs of at this point unknown tenants.
“The white side needs major renovation, which I will undertake when I have some signed leases,” he said.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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