$140K in tax credits to spur development in Vergennes, Middlebury

“I’m proud to see Vermont’s continued commitment to investing in their downtowns during these uncertain times — it is a testament to our sense of community and entrepreneurship, and I’m pleased the state can support this work through this program.”
— Gov. Phil Scott

MONTPELIER — Among the $3.2 million in Downtown and Village Center tax credits that Gove. Phil Scott announced this week were earmarks for business and living improvement projects in Vergennes and Middlebury. 
In all, the new tax credits will support 30 projects in 27 Vermont communities.
As Vermont communities weather the economic hardships brought on by the pandemic, the tax credits will help our towns and cites put themselves in the best position to thrive into the future, Scott said.
“I’m proud to see Vermont’s continued commitment to investing in their downtowns during these uncertain times — it is a testament to our sense of community and entrepreneurship, and I’m pleased the state can support this work through this program,” Scott said in a press release.
The tax credits will support over $160 million in downtown, village center and rehabilitation projects.
The two Addison County aid recipients are a fairly substantial project in Vergennes, and a minor one in Middlebury.
In support of an expanding assisted living community at 34 North St. in Vergennes, the city will complete several infrastructure projects to better connect the Vergennes Grand housing project with the City Green and Main Street. This will include paving, lighting and stormwater infrastructure improvements.
The facility will expand from 10 to 54 units, providing space for up to 78 residents within steps of the green and the city’s many amenities.
The total Vergennes Gran project cost will be $21,656,400, and a sales tax reallocation of $181,030 has been awarded.
In Middlebury, a project at 64 Main St. (currently the home of the Vermont’s Own business) will restore and preserve a mixed-use building with major improvements along Frog Hollow Alleyway façade. State tax credits of $18,173 will also support code improvements to ensure the building’s two apartments are more marketable and remain affordable.
The total cost of the project will be $64,693.
Nearby, in Rochester, the tax credits will support a new lodging business with both overnight accommodations and day-rate space for cross-country hikers and bikers. Since 2014, efforts have been ongoing to transform 147 North Main St. in Rochester into a lodge with 13 bedrooms that can accommodate up to 25 guests. State tax credits will support the renovation, providing a new sprinkler and fire alarm system, electrical and ADA upgrades, and exterior façade repairs. In addition to lodging rooms, the ground floor will act as a maker space and the basement common area will be renovated for cross country hikers and bikers who will be able to stop, repack and shower for a day rate.
This will create an affordable base for people to launch their exploration of the area’s many recreational assets.
In Rochester, the total project cost is $289,738; tax credits awarded: $98,177.
Overall in Vermont, this latest round of tax credits include more than $500,000 to support redevelopment of two properties in downtown Springfield: a former manufacturing facility that will be converted into multi-family housing, and the former Park Street School, which will be redeveloped into a multi-use facility with space for a business accelerator with co-working and private commercial space, studio apartments, and community use of the former gymnasium and 800-seat theater.
In Bellows Falls a former parking garage will be converted into mixed-income workforce housing. Other funded projects include conversion of the former Bridgewater School into a community center and childcare center, adaptive re-use of the former Skinner Library in Manchester, rehabilitation of the East Calais General Store, code-improvements at the Craftsbury General Store and installation of a sprinkler system at the Lantern Inn in Montgomery.
“The pandemic has required everyone to step back and rethink what they do,” said Housing and Community Development Commissioner Josh Hanford. “It’s extremely inspiring for me to see that Main Street building owners have decided there has never been a better time to make the place they call home even better for their residents, businesses and visitors.”
For a complete list of the FY21 Downtown and Village Center tax credit recipients, head online to to the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

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