Bottom Line: Massive Quechee Lakes parcel going on the market


Valley News Business Writer

Published: 09-07-2019 10:18 PM

In the market for a condo at Quechee Lakes? Well, we’ve got a place for you: 640 acres of pristine, forested land. And it can be all yours for $4.5 million.

Taurus Investment Holdings, a Boston real estate company, is exiting its investment in Quechee Lakes and has put the undeveloped parcel in the northeast part of the Vermont vacation- and second-home community up for sale — one of the largest properties to come on the market in recent memory in the Upper Valley, according to local real estate brokers.

In addition, Taurus is also planning to put up for sale its other unbuilt properties in Quechee Lakes, which encompasses 292 single-family lots, 73 condo unit permits, 54 “cluster home” permits and three commercially zoned parcels spread throughout the developed area of the 6,000-acre community.

The undeveloped portion, known as Lot 5C, is permitted for 311 dwelling units under the Quechee Lakes master plan, according to Ashley Callahan, associate asset manager at Taurus. The Boston company has owned the property since 2005 but is rebalancing its real estate portfolio away from the vacation- and second-home market and instead now focusing on multihome and industrial projects, she said.

To sell the undeveloped property, Taurus has tapped Colchester, Vt., real estate broker Rich Gardner, who handled the recent $5.5 million sale of a 758-acre tract in Stowe to the Stowe Land Trust, which put the land under conservation easement and transferred it to the state of Vermont (when it was listed last fall the asking price for the parcel, billed as “1.6%” of Stowe’s land mass, was $9.95 million).

Gardner said potential buyers of the Quechee Lakes property, besides the obvious candidate such as another developer, could include a well-heeled individual for his or her “own private Vermont retreat” or even be a nonprofit to put it under permanent conservation easement. (Psst, Vermont Land Trust, are you listening?)

Over the past two years, Gardner noted, Vermont properties exceeding 300 acres have been selling at the rate of one per month, topped by Vail Resorts’ purchase of Stowe Mountain Resort in 2017 for $41 million.

“There’s been some good activity over last few years,” Gardner said. “The stock market has been doing well. We’ve seen investors put more cash into real estate.”

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

But often in real estate, timing is everything.

Callahan noted that given the Stowe deal and recent buyer interest for large properties in Vermont, Taurus concluded, “now would be the best time to put the (Quechee Lakes) land and development rights on the market.”

The muffins and scones are now readyfor their close-up

Don’t expect King Arthur Flour to launch its own cable channel — although I don’t think that’s such a half-baked idea — but the Norwich-based business is fitting out space in the Rivermill Commercial Center in Lebanon for a photography and video studio to shoot and produce content for its various media outlets.

After working with a Hartford photography studio for 20 years, King Arthur is taking its photographic and video operation in-house with an approximately 2,000-square-foot “photo-ready kitchen” to produce content for its website, catalog and social media platforms, said Karen Colberg, co-CEO and chief brand officer of the baking ingredients distributor, bakery and cafe-restaurant.

Colberg said the flour marketer expects to occupy the Rivermill space later this fall, which in addition to being equipped with photography and video equipment will also include appliance ovens to do home-baking on site so that the items don’t have to be transported from King Arthur’s test kitchens to the studio as previously.

The photo studio “will give us a lot more flexibility in the world of digital marketing and allow us to create our own assets whenever we want.” Colberg explained, along with “a greater ability to do video.”

Dunkin’ eyes returnto downtown Hanover

Those who bemoan chain store creep in downtown Hanover — J.Crew, the soon-to-open clothes store J.McLaughlin (how many J’s can a town have?) and possibly British apparel company FatFace in the former Canoe Club space — surely won’t like it, but a New Hampshire operator of Dunkin’ franchises is hoping to bring the company’s pink and orange logo to a prominent spot on South Main Street.

Greg Sagris, of Hopkinton, N.H., who owns six franchises, including locations in the Walmart in West Lebanon, Sawyer Brook Plaza at Exit 13 in Grantham and on East Main Street in Bradford, N.H., is negotiating with the Nugget Arcade building to open a Dunkin’ in the space formerly used as a satellite art exhibition gallery for the Hood Museum and, earlier, Amidon Jewelers.

Sagris “is working with the town on site plans, which will be presented to the board in the near future,” a spokesperson for Sagris confirmed to me via email. Dunkin’ has been looking for a way back into Hanover ever since it lost the counter inside the Irving gas station.

Comings & goings

■ Eastman resident Abby Corriveau, a certified personal trainer and movement expert who previously was instructing part-time at River Valley Club, has opened her own fitness studio, Sustainable Movement, in the Grantham Greenway complex on Route 10 in Grantham. Corriveau, who specializes in strength training, kettlebells and restorative exercise, is also offering pre- and postnatal fitness training and kids classes.

■ It may be a little more than you need to patch the driveway, but the John Deere-backed Nortrax dealership on Route 11 in Springfield, Vt., is now the eastern Vermont distributor of Wirtgen Group road-building equipment.

John Lippman can be reached at