ST. ALBANS, Vt. — Gov. Peter Shumlin announced the allocation of $2.25 million in state tax incentives for 21 projects, supporting over $47 million in downtown and village center construction and rehabilitation projects. Two municipalities will receive sales tax reallocation dollars. In Winooski, the award will be used in conjunction with a new mixed use development and function venue “The Strand” at the city’s Circle, and in St. Albans, reallocated taxes will support public infrastructure improvements associated with the new Hampton Inn on Lake Street.
“Five years ago nobody would have considered building a new hotel downtown. In 2015 we opened a new hotel in Burlington and now we have hotel projects in the works here in St. Albans and in Winooski and Barre,” said Gov. Shumlin. “I am proud that my administration was able to play an important role in supporting downtown revitalization – fixing up old buildings, moving state offices to downtowns, and offering support for these hotels that allow visitors to stay longer, spend more money and enjoy all that Vermont’s downtowns have to offer.”
The Shumlin administration’s commitment to build a better and stronger future for Vermont’s downtowns and villages is paying off, with more new and renovated buildings and businesses opening statewide,” said Lucy Leriche, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. “These historic centers are at the heart of our culture and economy. We have seen first-hand how revitalizing downtowns positively affects communities and entire regions.”
“I am so proud and thankful for the incredible state and local collaboration that helped businesses stay in downtown St. Albans and with the construction of a new state office building and parking garage.” said Mayor Liz Gamache. “Once complete, this hotel will help St. Albans take yet another big step toward unlocking our downtown’s full potential.”
The downtown and village tax incentives have proven successful in helping to transform communities, supporting new housing, attracting new businesses, fostering business expansions, and creating good jobs in downtowns and villages across the state.
In 2013, the Shumlin administration increased the amount of tax incentives from $1.7M to $2.2M, allowing the program to fund 10 more projects annually. In the last five years, $13M in tax credits to 171 projects leveraged $240M in total investments in historic buildings, and in the last three years, $1.2M in sales tax was reallocated to support the construction of five new downtown buildings with a total value of $80M.
In 2016, tax credits will offset the costs of major investments to support projects in communities large and small; from fit-up improvements for Trout River Brewing Co. in Springfield and major renovation of a blighted block in downtown Newport for mixed commercial and residential use, to rehabilitation and code upgrades of the Waterbury Center Grange for use as a community arts center, and the expansion of the South Royalton Memorial library to make this historic building accessible to all.
Other project highlights include installation of a sprinkler system to a central downtown block and the home of J & H Hardware in Bellows Falls; rehabilitation of a former convent and school in Montpelier by the Center for Arts and Learning; renovation of the upper floors of the Clement Building in downtown Rutland to provide downtown housing for students attending Castleton University; re-use of a former house in St. Johnsbury by the Fairbanks Museum for use as a café, radio station, and community room; and projects that will create safe, code compliant housing in Brattleboro, St. Albans, White River Junction and Winooski.
For a complete list of projects, visit our website.
The state designation programs in the Agency of Commerce and Community Development targets investments to build strong communities and promote the efficient use of land, infrastructure and resources. Almost 150 community centers are designated (downtowns and villages), allowing them to receive priority consideration for state grants, limited Act 250 review and access to state tax incentives.