Thursday afternoon brought together scores of interested onlookers as three local nonprofit housing developers were joined by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin to mark the beginning of construction of new housing in Shelburne village.
“After many years of planning and persistence, this new neighborhood in the heart of Shelburne will soon be a reality,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin. “Harrington Village brings together rental and single family homes for all ages and a variety of income levels in the village center, surrounded by open land and promoting smart downtown development with good quality of life for residents.”
The three nonprofits – Champlain Housing Trust, Housing Vermont and Cathedral Square – are collaborating to build a mixed-income, mixed-generation neighborhood of 82 new homes including 42 family apartments, 36 senior apartments and four affordable homes for sale. Construction is underway and occupancy of the family and senior rentals is expected in the summer of 2014; the for-sale homes will be available later.
“We are here today because committed citizens and local officials in Shelburne wanted to make sure that their community is inclusive for people of all incomes,” said Brenda Torpy, CEO of the Champlain Housing Trust. “I applaud that commitment, and we look forward to coming back here next summer to welcome the first people moving in.”
“We also appreciate the Town of Shelburne’s support for the new neighborhood we are creating,” added Kim Fitzgerald, Chief of Operations and Finance at Cathedral Square Corporation. “This development has so many wins – mixed income housing for seniors and families in a village location, construction jobs, and conservation of open space for the Town. Cathedral Square anticipates the Wright House senior housing to be leased up before the doors open next summer.”
Funding for the housing came from a variety of sources, including investments made by TD Bank and Enterprise Community Investment through a federal tax credit equity program. Grants from HUD-funded programs and USDA Rural Development were instrumental to the development, including support from NeighborWorks America, HOME and Community Development Block Grants (commonly known as CDBG). Support and financing also came from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Vermont Community Development Program, Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Gas, the Town of Shelburne and proceeds from state tax credit. SCHIP’s Treasure Shop, a resale shop in the center of Shelburne, made an early grant in support of the predevelopment costs of the project.
“The vacancy rate for rental housing in suburban Chittenden County is currently less than one percent,” said Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens. “Clearly, there are many families and seniors who are looking for quality apartments at affordable rents in good locations. Harrington Village directly responds to those needs and we expect that demand will be strong,” Owens said.
Wright & Morrissey Inc. is the general contractor for both the senior and family housing, and Duncan Wisniewski Architecture is the project’s architect. The combined cost of the two rental developments is approximately $20 million.