Downstreet Celebrates Barre St. Ribbon Cutting
On Friday, November 13, public officials, residents and local children celebrated the official re-opening of a daycare center and 19 units of affordable housing redeveloped by Downstreet Housing & Community Development. The newly renovated Children’s House and the apartments are located downtown at 39, 40 and 41 Barre Street, which puts the three buildings within walking distance of area amenities, said Liz Genge, Downstreet’s Director of Property Management.
“The City is very pleased to have partnered with Downstreet to retain and improve these buildings as part of the continuing stabilization of Barre Street,” said Montpelier City Manager William Fraser. “The living units, along with the renovation of the Children’s House, are a great benefit to the community.”
The highly energy-efficient apartments, which are mostly studio and one-bedroom apartments, help ease Montpelier’s tight rental market, where the vacancy rate currently is around 1 percent, said Montpelier City Manager William Fraser. In the renovations, Downstreet followed “green standards” by adding a high efficiency boiler, water-conserving fixtures, Energy Star appliances, energy efficient lighting, new windows and insulation in the basement, walls and attic, said Alison Friedkin, Downstreet’s Director of Real Estate Development.
Downstreet’s general contractor, DEW Construction, also used regional materials and durable/renewable materials with the goal of extending the useful life of the properties for at least another 20 years. The site improvements also included paving and new septic and water service; a sprinkler system, a modified entry for handicapped accessibility and structural stabilization to the chimneys and dormer support rafters.
The redevelopment project could not have happened without support from Northfield Savings Bank, the City of Montpelier and the Montpelier Housing Authority, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, the Vermont Community Development Program, 3E Thermal, Scott + Partners Architecture, Pride Development LLC, the Vermont Center for Independent Living and the Green Mountain Equity Fund administered by Housing Vermont, said Downstreet Executive Director Eileen Peltier.