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Twin Pines to build 21 apartments in Hartford after grants come through

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/28/2020 9:33:47 PM
Modified: 7/29/2020 3:17:01 PM

WILDER — Twin Pines Housing Trust will start construction this summer on two affordable housing projects expected to bring 21 new apartments to Hartford after securing federal funding last week.

A $247,200 federal Community Development Block Grant allows the White River Junction-based nonprofit to move forward with plans for a two-story building in Wilder Village.

The roughly 4,360-square-foot building will have four apartments located on the former home of the Tip Top Tire and auto repair shop at 1965 Hartford Ave., aka Route 5, across from Datamann Inc.

Two of those units will be devoted to those who earn up to 60% of Windsor County’s median income ($74,000), while the other two would go to families or individuals making up to 120% that amount.

Construction and remediation of the former brownfield site will start next month, Twin Pines Executive Director Andrew Winter said Tuesday.

“The project will benefit from a mix of incomes in the future residents there,” Winter said during a phone interview. “We’re trying to develop those kinds of projects that allow us to address the housing needs for our very low-income folks in the Upper Valley as well as higher-income households.”

The federal dollars also will contribute to 17 townhouse apartments planned as an expansion to the organization’s Wentworth Community Housing complex off of Sykes Mountain Avenue.

That project started with 30 units that saw residents move in last summer and also offers a mix of apartments for those making up to 60% and 120% of household median income.

Work on the expansion will start in September, Winter said.

“We are obviously thrilled to be in a position where we are moving forward with the last phase of our work on Sykes Mountain Avenue,” Winter said. “And we’re thrilled to be able to move forward with a site that has had a number of efforts at remediation and come up short.”

The Wilder project will kick off with remediation work that includes the removal of the top 1½ feet of soil at the site and replacing it with clean soil.

The brownfield, which was on the state’s list of contaminated sites, was left vacant after a fire burned down the auto shop in the 1990s.

The project was approved by the Hartford Zoning Board last January after facing pushback from neighbors who worried a new building wouldn’t fit into the historic neighborhood. It received Planning Commission approval a month later.

Overall, the two projects are estimated to cost nearly $6.8 million, which will come from a combination of tax credits and grants.

Winter said Twin Pines had sought $412,000 in block grants from the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, but officials instead opted to split Vermont’s roughly $7 million federal share among more projects. He said Twin Pines will be able to make up the difference, though.

Eight communities received grants, which include a $242,745 contribution to support efforts to renovate the former Bellows Falls Garage in the village of Bellows Falls, Vt., into 26 new apartments, 20 of which will be affordable for households earning less than 80% of the area median income.

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.

Correction

Twin Pines Housing Trust is sta rting construction soon on 21 new apartments in Hartford, including a 4-unit building in Wilder. An earlier headline with this story overstated how many new apartments are planned for Wilder.




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