Burlington, VT– Two local nonprofit housing developers were joined by Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, Vermont’s Speaker of the House Shap Smith and DEW Construction Corp to mark the beginning of construction of a new housing co-op in Burlington.
“The Bright Street Housing Cooperative will create greatly-needed new affordable housing opportunities in Burlington, and will continue the recent progress of a substantial new investment in the Old North End,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger.
“We know that community centers and downtowns are what many young families seek out as they search for places to work and grow a home. The Bright Street Housing Cooperative provides housing opportunity in this neighborhood in a way that reflects local needs and values. It was created with community involvement. When complete, it will offer housing that people need and can afford,” added Vermont Speaker of the House Shap Smith.
Two nonprofits- Champlain Housing Trust and Housing Vermont- are collaborating to build the development that will create 40 new homes on the one and a quarter acre brownfield site. Construction is underway, and occupancy is expected in September 2016. Four old, blighted buildings are to be removed to make way for the new housing in three buildings. Land is set aside for the possibility of installing a community garden at a later date.
“While this project will bring long lasting housing and community development benefits to residents, the neighborhood, and the broader community, it also generates significant economic advantages,” said Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens. “It will create 118 on-site jobs and 177 off-site jobs while providing more than $25 million in construction and indirect economic benefit.”
D.E.W. Construction is the general contractor for the development and Duncan Wisniewski Architecture is the project’s architect. The cost of the development, including the environmental clean-up of the site, is approximately $11.7 million.
The redevelopment will include a 1.24-acre urban Brownfield with five existing buildings in Burlington’s Old North End converted into a 40-unit, resident-controlled affordable housing cooperative. Four buildings will be demolished for the construction of the co-op (one building will remain separate from the co-op.) The new housing will be located in three buildings. The primary building, which sits in the interior of the site, is a 3-story building with 35 apartments and below-grade parking. The other two buildings are smaller, 2- story structures situated along Bright Street to help reestablish a strong streetscape on that block.
The Bright Street Housing Cooperative will offer four tiers of affordability: 13 apartments will be affordable to households earning less than 50% of the HUD area median income (AMI); 21 affordable to households earning less than 60% of AMI; two targeted for households at less than 80% of AMI; and four apartments will be unrestricted.