Business Notes: Brick & Barn Real Estate Opens in Quechee

Valley News Business Writer
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Quechee — Quechee Lakes Real Estate Center, the real estate agency in the familiar 1850 red brick farmhouse on Route 4 in Quechee, has been sold to Scott Rome and Herb Hart, who have renamed it Brick & Barn Real Estate Group and are broadening the agency’s market area to encompass northern New England.

Rome and Hart, Upper Valley natives who were classmates at Hanover High School in the 1980s, bought the property and agency, which has traditionally focused on sales in the Quechee Lakes area, from Charlie Bacon. Bacon is staying on with the new owners as a principal broker.

Rome said the six-agent Brick & Barn is set up to be a “boutique” real estate firm that will expand its listings in Vermont and to New Hampshire and Maine.

“We both know the area very well,” Rome said of himself and Hart. A Portsmouth, N.H., outpost will open in the fall, Rome said.

Before stepping into an ownership position, Hart had been with Quechee Lakes Real Estate Center for 14 years as an agent. He will continue separately to operate Quechee Lakes Rental, which leases Quechee Lakes properties for seasonal residents, out of the Brick & Barn’s offices.

Rome has had a longtime sales and marketing career, working both in the tech software industry and earlier in television program syndication.

The acquisition of the former Quechee Lakes Real Estate Center includes the business’s red brick former farmhouse and associated 6.5 acres. Rome said he “rather not say” what he and Hart paid for the property.

Company News

The extended-stay Residence Inn in Lebanon has completed a $6 million renovation project begun in November that includes a “full redesign” of all 114 rooms along with a “newly redesigned gatehouse and lobby and a state of the art fitness center,” the hotel announced last week. Norwich Partners, the Lebanon and Florida-based hotel development and investment firm headed by David Leatherwood and Eric Sachsee, repurchased the Route 120 hotel, marketed then under the name The Residence Inn by Marriott Hanover-Lebanon, in 2015 from Moody National REIT. Moody had originally acquired the hotel from Norwich Partners in 2007.

The Residence Inn’s “comprehensive makeover” includes new appliances, cabinets, countertops, tile work, carpeting, furniture, beds and “thicker, more comfortable mattresses,” a news release said. The indoor pool facility was converted into 1,200-square-foot fitness center.

The hotel is regularly used by people visiting Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Dartmouth College and the businesses and research firms located at the Centerra Resource Park.

Since then Norwich Partners has built and owns two other hotels along the Route 120: the Courtyard by Marriott Hanover-Lebanon and the Element Hanover-Lebanon.

The Residence Inn’s renovation comes as a fourth major hotel complex, the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center, is under construction along the Route 120 corridor near Exit 18. The $12.3 million, 100-room hotel and conference center project is expected to be completed for opening in the fall.

Worthy Burger, in its first expansion since it opened Worthy Kitchen in Woodstock in 2013, plans to open a take-out deli in downtown Woodstock on Mechanic Street. The town’s Development Review Board has granted approval for the South Royalton “farm diner” known for its grass-fed burgers and “beef tallow” cooked fries to convert the small white clapboard building that was formerly a real estate office into a take-out sandwich shop. Most of the food will be prepared offsite at the nearby Worthy Kitchen facilities on Route 4, according to review board records, and there will be no indoor seating. Plans do call for patio seating for 20 people, and doughnuts will be fried on site. A public hearing on the eatery’s hours is scheduled for Aug. 23.

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