FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2022
CONTACT: Lisa Patlis, (802) 861-3814
[Bristol, VT] Co-owners and developers, Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) and Evernorth, are pleased to announce that construction is underway at Firehouse Apartments which will serve 20 low and moderate income households in downtown Bristol.
The Firehouse Apartments represents a critical component of a public/private partnership bringing municipal services, business incubation, and mixed-income housing to the growing community of Bristol on the Stoney Hill property. This partnership between the Town of Bristol, private developers, and housing nonprofits ACCT and Evernorth leverages the investments in municipal infrastructure and job creation to serve 20 households in a community where there were previously only nine non age-restricted affordable housing apartments.
Firehouse Apartments will be adjacent to a brand-new business park, next door to the new fire station, across the street from the regional high school and recreational fields, and just a quarter mile from the downtown hub of the community. These all electric, high-performance homes will be designed and constructed to the standards of the Enterprise Green Communities certification, resulting in resilient, healthy, efficient, and environmentally responsible housing connected to transportation, critical services, and a wide range of quality-of-life amenities.
We are so glad to be breaking ground today on homes that will remain a community asset in Bristol forever,” said Nancy Owens, Co-President of Evernorth. “Like your investment in roads, sewers, schools and municipal buildings, this housing will remain in Bristol to serve the community as infrastructure you can rely on.”
Funding totaling more than $8.6 million from a mix of public and private sources was raised to cover the total development costs. Housing New England (HNE) Funds II & IV provided the tax credit equity investment of $4.5 million for this project, which is administered by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency. The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board contributed over $3 million, including $1.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding and $520,000 in HOME funds. NBT Bank invested in the HNE Fund and also provided the permanent loan of $345,000. Other sources of funds include the Town of Bristol through the Vermont Community Development program and Efficiency Vermont.
“We are grateful to our funders and partners for supporting these much-needed affordable homes,” said ACCT Executive Director Elise Shanbacker. “Firehouse Apartments will create a new neighborhood in Bristol where people can send their kids to school across the street, walk to work and to downtown and have easy access to nearby recreational trails.”
The Firehouse Apartments are scheduled to open in the Spring of 2023. The apartments will serve a range of families and individuals from those experiencing homelessness to those earning 120% of the area’s median income, addressing the workforce housing shortage challenge in Addison County.
Steve Schenker of S2 Architecture is the project architect. The buildings were originally designed by Cushman Architecture as part of the master development. Naylor and Breen is the Construction Manager.
In 2015, Stoney Hill Properties (SHP), LLC, a partnership created by Kevin Harper and David Blittersdorf, purchased a 12.5 acre parcel from the Town of Bristol with the vision of a mixed-use development that included municipal, residential and commercial buildings, all within the core Bristol Village area. “Following the completion of the new Bristol Firehouse in 2016 and the infrastructure improvements of 2021, the Firehouse Apartments will be the next major step to seeing this project unfold,” said Kevin Harper, SHP, LLC Manager Member. “My partner, David Blittersdorf and I are thrilled with the progress of this private/public partnership, none of which could have happened without the overwhelming support of the Town, The Addison County Economic Development Corporation, and the community at large,” Harper continued.