Local man pitches mini-golf, warehouse for Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY — Local entrepreneur Tony Neri is proposing to build a new, 18-hole miniature golf course behind his A&W Restaurant on Route 7 South, as well as a new, 20,000-square-foot warehouse building in the town’s industrial park that would be tailored to up-and-coming businesses specializing in organic products.
The Middlebury Development Review Board on Jan. 25 will review both of Neri’s proposals, as well as plans for a much-debated runway improvement plan for the Middlebury State Airport (see related article).
Neri said the 18-hole miniature golf course would occupy roughly one-third of an acre behind the A&W Restaurant. He is currently designing the course, which he hopes to build for between $1,000 to $2,000 per hole. He sees the course as an extra amenity for A&W customers and for passersby on Route 7. He would also like to put up a small, horse-barn style building for storage and from which customers could receive their putter and golf balls. A smooth permitting process would lead to an operational mini golf course by this June, according to Neri.
The warehouse would be made of steel and is planned for 183 Industrial Ave., on property that Neri already owns.
Once completed, Neri would rent the building out as incubator space to small businesses looking for a place to get their start. He specifically wants to accommodate manufacturers of organic products.
Neri has had a history of providing incubator space to businesses that have gone on to bigger things; among them are Otter Creek Brewing, Intaglio and Vermont Soap.
“I hope to get this building up by the end of the year,” Neri said.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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