Governor Phil Scott Announces Winners Of $770,000 In Downtown And Village Center Tax Credits

Montpelier, VT (STL.News)  Vermont Governor Phil Scott today announced the allocation of just over $770,000 in state tax credits for nine projects, which will support over $47.5 million in downtown and village center rehabilitation projects.  Additional funding proposed by the Administration and allocated by the General Assembly during the 2020 legislative session provided a boost to the program, allowing this additional round of awards focused on recovery coming out of the COVID-19 crisis.

“The downtown and village center tax credits are proven methods for spurring private investment and economic growth,” said Governor Scott.  “These projects will help communities and businesses bounce back from challenges caused by the pandemic.  That’s why my budget recommends increases to this program to help Vermont’s historic downtowns continue to build back stronger than ever.”

“Vermont’s Main Street businesses have taken a gut punch this past year and the Downtown and Village Center tax credit program has played a critical role in restoring community vibrancy this past summer and fall,” said Department of Housing and Community Development Commissioner Josh Hanford.  “Given these uncharted and difficult times, it is inspiring to see Vermonters doubling down to build a brighter future.”

This January’s group of projects includes rehabilitation of Chapman’s Store in Fairlee, a local family business selling wines, gifts, sundries, and toys for 100 years.  Work will include expansion of the store with new outdoor dining, ADA compliant restrooms, public Wi-Fi, and creation of a second apartment unit above the existing retail space.  Other projects funded include elevator and other code-related upgrades at the Randolph House, a senior apartment facility in Randolph, redevelopment of a former bank on Winooski’s traffic circle for the expansion of Four Quarters Brewing, and rehabilitation of the historic 1824 Wallingford Block offering space for food, retail, fitness and community in the center of the village center.

Full list of projects and tax credits awarded:

842 Main Street, Albany (Albany General Store) – The Albany General Store was devastated by fire in early 2014 and was forced to close. It was recently purchased by Albany Community Trust, a non-profit that plans to re-open the store as a small retail grocery, bakery and take-out deli with space for small community gatherings.  Tax credits will support code improvements, brownfields clean-up and an exterior facelift so the exterior of the 1974 building will blend in with its 19th century neighbors

  • Total Project Cost: $778,010; Tax Credits Awarded: $28,220
  • Contact: Kristen Fountain, 802-586-9902, kristengfountain@gmail.com

101 South Street, Bennington (Putnam Hotel) – The historic Putnam House (c.1868-1870) dominates the center of downtown Bennington.  The upper floors of the building, once a hotel, have been unoccupied since the late 1970s.  Tax credits will support comprehensive rehabilitation of the historic building for 17 units of housing and mixed-use commercial space.  Work includes abating asbestos and lead paint and brownfield clean-up.  This project is part of a larger transformative mixed-use revitalization of three historic buildings in the heart of downtown Bennington.

  • Total Project Cost: $31,487,734; Tax Credits Awarded: $108,881
  • Contact: Bill Colvin, 802-447-0371, bcolvin@bcrcvt.org

192 Route 5 North, Fairlee – State tax credits will support façade upgrades to this vacant commercial building along Route 5 in Fairlee.  A new restaurant tenant will move into the space this summer, which will be upgraded with a takeout window and outdoor dining space, filling a gap in the local commercial landscape and creating at least 10 new jobs.

  • Total Project Cost: $26,975; Tax Credits Awarded: $6,744
  • Contact: Matthew Walker, 718-697-1025, m.odell.walker@gmail.com

491 Main Street, Fairlee (Chapman’s Store) – Chapman’s Store was built in 1875 with a family-operated business that has been selling wines, gifts, sundries and toys for over 100 years.  State tax credits will provide funding to support façade repairs, expansion of the ground floor to provide space for outdoor dining, and construction of a second apartment unit on the building’s second floor, ensuring this important local landmark continues to serve its community for the next hundred years.

  • Total Project Cost: $372,300; Tax Credits Awarded: $113,025
  • Contact: Travis Noyes, 914-274-1331, travisnoyes@gmail.com

65 North Main Street, Randolph (Randolph House) – Randolph House provides 48 senior housing units in the heart of Randolph’s downtown district.  State tax credits will now support major upgrades to the building, providing expanded space for telehealth, wellness, and resident gathering space, as well as code-mandated upgrades to the building’s elevator and installation of a second elevator to ensure better accessibility and no lapse in service or major relocation of residents during the project.

  • Total Project Cost: $31,487,734; Tax Credits Awarded: $108,881
  • Contact: Julie Iffland, 802-728-4305, julie@racdc.com

235 Lake Street, St. Albans (Almond Blossoms Schoolhouse) – This former school currently has a licensed childcare center for 30 children on its ground floor.  State tax credits will support code improvements, including installation of a sprinkler system, to allow the childcare center to expand to the building’s second floor.  The project will double the capacity of the center to provide much-needed high-quality childcare in St. Albans City.

  • Total Project Cost: $583,107; Tax Credits Awarded: $35,253
  • Contact: Heather Garceau, 802-598-6744, heather@almond-blossoms-schoolhouse.com

92 Church Street, Shelburne (St. Catherine’s) – Located in the center of Shelburne, this historic church recently embarked on an ambitious rehabilitation project which includes construction of a large meeting room addition, accessibility improvements, and installation of a sprinkler system.  The new community room will serve a wide range of vital purposes, from providing a pick-up location for the Shelburne Food Shelf, to meeting and activity space for book clubs, youth dances, Alcoholics Anonymous, movie nights, etc.

  • Total Project Cost: $2,286,002; Tax Credits Awarded: $50,000
  • Contact: Ann Cousins, 802-343-8180, ascousins@gmavt.net

15 South Main Street, Wallingford (Wallingford Block) – The historic Wallingford Block was built in 1824 and is in the heart of Wallingford along busy Route 7.  The new owner is working to restore the building to its former glory while recruiting commercial and community tenants including a new bakery café which will open this spring. State tax credits will support major façade restoration work along with code improvements, including installation of a sprinkler system.

  • Total Project Cost: $607,400; Tax Credits Awarded: $158,500
  • Contact: Michelle A. Kenney, 802-558-0399, wallingfordblock@gmail.com

70 Main Street, Winooski – A former Grand Union and then a Key Bank but vacant for five years, this building will be rehabilitated for Four Quarters Brewing, a local craft brewery.  Tax credits supporting façade and code improvements will allow the Winooski business to expand into a larger, more prominent facility, creating new jobs. Work also includes extensive outdoor seating to respond to an increased demand for outdoor dining options post pandemic.

  • Total Project Cost: $1,618,900; Tax Credits Awarded: $125,000
  • Contact: Erik Hoekstra, 802-658-7400, ehoekstra@redstonevt.com