Millions in Tax Credits Going to Downtown Projects

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Montpelier — More than $2.7 million in state tax incentives will go to support 22 downtown and village center revitalization projects around Vermont, including one in White River Junction.

More than $305,000 in sales tax revenue will be reallocated to aid in the development of The Village at White River Junction, a $27 million, five-story assisted living facility on Gates Street, Republican Gov. Phil Scott announced on Wednesday. The  revenue, which came from sales taxes collected on material for the project, will help pay for utility upgrades, exterior lighting, storm water drainage and other improvements near Currier and Gates streets.

The 87,000-square-foot facility will provide 80 units to seniors. Developer Byron Hathorn is spearheading the project, which will be operated by Life Care Services, an Iowa-based company that manages housing for seniors across the nation.

Amenities planned for the building’s residents include an in-house cinema, salon, hydroponic garden, dog walking area and cocktail lounge.

Scott announced the winners of the tax incentives in Montpelier, across the street from one of the projects. Nearly $300,000 in tax incentives will help to renovate two upper floors of Montpelier’s French Block, which have been vacant for more than 75 years.

The tax credit program directs funds to stimulate private investment, create jobs, restore historic buildings and jump start the revitalization seen in Vermont’s downtowns and village centers.

Other projects receiving funding include rehabilitation of a historic building in Bellows Falls and upgrades to the old Montgomery Ward building in Newport.

“We have seen firsthand how investments in our downtowns and villages add to the vibrancy of communities large and small, while generating jobs and growing the economy,” Scott said in a statement. “Tax credits that reduce development costs, along with streamlined permitting in areas the state has designated for growth, are proven tools to create jobs and increase our tax base.”

Valley News staff writer Tim Camerato contributed to this report.