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Workforce housing project gets Middlebury approval

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Development Review Board has given its approval to a new, 40-unit apartment building that will offer what its developer is defining as “workforce housing.”
Brett Grabowski, director of development for Milot Real Estate, said the company plans to break ground next month on the project in the Middlebury South Village planned unit development, located near The Centre shopping plaza of Court Street Extension. The three-story building will be located on a 1.2-acre lot in South Village that the town had previously green-lighted for 16 townhouses. Those townhouses were never built, thus freeing up the property for Milot’s acquisition.
“We had a lot of discussions with the town before we brought our plan to the DRB,” Grabowski said. “We received a lot of positive encouragement.”
The DRB voted unanimously (7-0) to endorse Milot’s application, stating (among other things) in its approval:
•  “Because other, similar uses exist in the nearby area, the DRB finds that the project will have no undue adverse impact on the character of the neighborhood.”
Neighbors of the future project include an office building hosting various state agencies, two homes along Creek Road, and an affordable housing apartment building.
•  “It is anticipated that the new dwelling units created as a result of this project will fill an unmet need in Middlebury’s housing market, for quality, market-rate rental housing,” the decision reads. “This project may increase the supply of below-market rate housing, as persons who occupy the new dwelling units created by this project may be vacating more inexpensive units elsewhere in the surrounding area.”
Grabowski said monthly rents will amount to around $1,000 for the one-bedroom units and around $1,300 for the two-bedroom units. Heat and hot water will be included in all the rents, he added. Plans call for half of the proposed 40 apartments to have two bedrooms, with the other half having a single bedroom.
•  “This project accomplished the town plan goal of concentrating residential development within areas planned for future growth, using existing infrastructure,” the decision reads. “It is located within walking distance of the ball fields and recreation center, trails and open space amenities, essential goods and services, and the Addison County Transit Resources bus stop.”
The new, 52-feet-tall apartment building will have a pitched, shingle roof and fiber-cement siding. It will have 62 parking spaces available that are shared in common with other buildings in the South Village planned unit development.
Grabowski anticipates nine months of construction on the new building, with the units becoming available beginning next spring.
Asked what kind of renters the project would likely attract, Grabowski said, “Young professionals, up to potentially empty nesters.”
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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