SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — When Gov. Phil Scott announced the allocation of $2.8 million in state tax credits for downtown and village rehabilitation projects, two projects in Springfield made the list.
The Springfield Food Cooperative, currently on Route 11 is planning to relocate into the old A&P building downtown, doubling its retail space and allowing room for a café. The A&P was converted into a bank and the bank will continue to occupy part of the building. The total project cost of $145,200 will be offset by tax credits totalling $91,535. State tax credits will support code-related improvements as well as upgrades to the building’s façade. The move will provide the co-op, which has been in business 27 years, with 6,100 square feet of space.
The “Bowling Building” at 11 Park St., containing five apartments, will receive tax credits that support work to make the building compliant with structural requirements to meet life safety codes and complete improvements to the facade by upgrading the building entrances. The work will also improve the aesthetics of the downtown area and provide the foundation for additional improvements including a long-term vision of repairing and re-opening the building’s six-lane candlepin bowling alley with a small coffee bar and dining venue. Of the total project cost of $142,224, tax credits will offset $58,750.
“Creating more opportunities for people to live and work in our Vermont’s downtown and villages is critical to keeping young Vermonters here and drawing new families and business to Vermont to stay,” said Gov. Scott. “This work to expand growth and economic equity to all 14 counties will continue to be a focus for my administration.”
In 2019, tax credits will offset the costs of major investments to support projects in 14 Vermont communities. In Brattleboro, the Sanel Building will be rehabilitated to provide office space for the Vermont Division of Vocational Rehabilitation regional office and the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, along with housing, co-working and business incubation space. In Lyndonville, the former Bag Balm Building will be redeveloped to house a local café and coworking space in partnership with Northern Vermont University. And $500,000 will support redevelopment of the historic New Avenue House, a long-time blighted and underutilized block in the heart of downtown St. Johnsbury, where the Governor announced this year’s recipients at a press conference Wednesday. When complete, the project will comprise 39 units of affordable housing with mixed-use commercial space on the ground floor.
“Since this program began, over 370 projects have received over $30 million in tax credits to help bring existing buildings up to code and put underused or vacant buildings back into productive use,” said Josh Hanford, Chair of the Downtown Board and Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Community Development. “This program has conservatively leveraged $800 million in outside investments and has done so much to improve Vermont’s quality of life, sense of place, economy and brand.”
Other funded projects include electrical and accessibility upgrades to a former one-room schoolhouse in Granville for use as a community center, façade and code improvements in Enosburg Falls to support a growing veterinary clinic and adaptive reuse of Vergennes’ historic Haviland Shade Roller Building to create 23 apartments within steps of the vibrant downtown.
The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s (ACCD) mission is to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities. ACCD accomplishes this mission by providing grants, technical assistance, and advocacy through three divisions: The Department of Economic Development, the Department of Tourism and Marketing, and the Department of Housing and Community Development. For more information on ACCD please visit: accd.vermont.gov.