City and State leaders used ceremonial shovels to mark the beginning of construction of 60 new apartments in South Burlington as part of a long-planned new City Center. On hand were South Burlington City Council President Helen Riehle and Senator Tim Ashe, President of the Vermont Senate.
The apartments, named Garden Apartments, are being developed by Snyder Braverman Development Company, who have an agreement to sell the building to the Champlain Housing Trust and Housing Vermont. The apartments will remain affordable forever.
“This is just the latest in a number of celebrations here in South Burlington’s new City Center marking our progress,” said City Council President Helen Riehle. “We’ll keep getting together to celebrate because this has taken a number of years, involving countless South Burlington residents, committees and boards, and all South Burlington tax payers. This new affordable housing another important step in the culmination of a long-dreamed center that will demonstrate and reflect the community’s inclusive values.”
Nearly a quarter of the funding for the development – $3.9 million – came from Vermont’s recently passed Housing for All bond. Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, a leader in the effort to pass the $37 million bond, said, “This is exactly what we envisioned when we committed to investing in communities, in places to live for low and moderate income people, and our economy. Seeing this new housing get underway and spurring additional economic development is exactly what Vermont and Chittenden County needs right now.”
The apartments will be built at the corner of Market Street, which is also under construction, and a yet-to-be constructed extension of Garden Street. “We’re so pleased to be able to provide new affordable housing options at this new vibrant center near amenities and jobs and in the core of the county,” added Brenda Torpy, CEO of Champlain Housing Trust. “We are especially appreciative of the people of South Burlington for pushing this vision and creating resources to make it happen.” The City established one of only a handful of affordable housing trust funds in the State, and has contributed $75,000 in addition to sponsoring an application for state funds through the Vermont Community Development Program.
Other funders include NeighborWorks® America and the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, which administers the Housing for All bond and also added federal HOME funds for the housing. The largest source, though, is the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, administered by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency. TD Bank is the investor providing $6.9 million in equity in exchange for the credits flowing from the development. VHFA also provided a construction loan for the project.
“It really does take multiple partners and institutions to pull together, agree on a common vision and see it to the point where we can get under construction,” said Nancy Owens, President of Housing Vermont. “We’re excited to come back next fall and welcome people moving in.”
The sixty apartments will be a mixture of sizes, with an understanding of the needs of the regions. There will be 26 one-bedroom, 20 two-bedroom, 11 three-bedroom, and three four-bedroom apartments. Occupancy is expected in the fall/early winter of 2019. For more information on renting, visit the Champlain Housing Trust website at www.getahome.org.