Chris Donnelly, Champlain Housing Trust (802) 310-0623 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Wright, Cathedral Square Corporation, (802) 863-3491 or email@example.com
Kenn Sassorossi, Housing Vermont, (802) 355-8009 or Kenn@hvt.org
New Rental Neighborhood Opens in Burlington’s New North End
– Cathedral Square, Champlain Housing Trust and Housing Vermont Complete 63 Apartments –
Burlington, Vermont – Today, Governor Peter Shumlin and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger joined a trio of nonprofit housing organizations to mark the completion of an a ttractive, new neighborhood off North Avenue in Burlington’s New North End.
“The creation of this neighborhood comes at a time of new energy in Burlington. These perpetually affordable homes will ensure residents of all incomes and ages have a place here,” said Governor Shumlin. “The state is happy to have supported this energy – efficient, smart growth development and the jobs that come along with it. Congratulations to the talented team that put the project together.”
Reflecting the name of a former school, Thayer Commons consists of three properties: Thayer House, 69 senior apartments developed by the Cathedral Square Corporation in two phases; Avenue Apartments, 33 apartments developed by Housing Vermont and the Champlain Housing Trust (CHT); and The Flats a project developed by EF Farrell which offers a total of 88 apartments in two phases. When complete, the new neighborhood will be home to nearly 200 households.
“The redevelopment of the former Thayer School is among the best local examples of smart growth. At the heart of the American dream is the simple hope that each of us can choose to live in a neighborhood that is beautiful, safe, affordable and easy to get around. The Thayer development makes that dream a reality for hundreds of people,” said Mayor Weinberger. “Congratulations to Champlain Housing Trust, Housing Vermont, Cathedral Square Corporation and Eric Farrell on transforming a vacant school with acres of parking into this vibrant community for people from all walks of life.”
The regional rental market is marked by high rents and very few vacancies. The current Burlington apartment vacancy rate is less than 1 percent (5% is considered a market balanced between landlords and tenants). The median rent in the region is $1,263 for a 2-bedroom apartment without utilities.
Demand for the new apartments has been extremely high.Construction of Thayer House was completed in May and all 33 senior apartments were reserved prior to the opening date. The 33 units at Avenue Apartments became available on May 29 and are also already fully leased.
“We have 100 people filling out rental applicants a month, and no one project can close the gap in demand,” said CHT Chief Operating and Financial Officer Michael Monte. “But here we have made an impact while demonstrating how a
new development can complement an existingvibrant neighborhood.”
Thayer House provides seniors with 30 one-and three two-bedroom apartments in a three-story building featuring many amenities including central air conditioning, a secure entry-way system, laundry facilities on each floor and a smoke-free environment. However, it is the strong services that distinguish Thayer House.
“Thayer House represents the future of Cathedral Square,” said Executive Director Nancy Eldridge. “When we think about housing for seniors we envision a setting where residents have the support they need, when they need it. Thayer House was designed to provide the community rooms, accessibility and technology to complement our new Support And Services at Home (SASH) program. SASH helps residents stay healthy and at home.”
SASH, a care partnership among Cathedral Square, VNA of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties, Champlain Valley Agency on Aging and other service providers, offers case management and preventive services in the home setting at no cost to the participants.
Avenue Apartments offers 12 one-, 18 two-and 13 three-bedroom apartments for low, moderate and market rate singles and families. The highly energy efficient building incorporates many green features, including roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels which produce more electricity than the building uses.
“The three elements of Thayer Commons clearly demonstrate the success of a coordinated, thoughtful response to the need to meaningfully increase the supply of housing while fitting into established neighborhoods,” said Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens. “None of this would have been possible without the cooperation of our neighbors, the City and the State of Vermont and the financial support of both the public and private sector,” Owens said.
Over a dozen sources of funds financed the new development, including a HUD special purpose grant secured by Senator Patrick Leahy.