Government officials, affordable-housing developers and representatives of public and private financing partners marked the official start of construction for ALLARD SQUARE, the first major residential development in South Burlington’s new City Center, at a celebration the afternoon of Nov. 1. A highlight of the event was the participation of Doris Allard, a longtime resident of Cathedral Square and the development’s namesake, in the traditional groundbreaking and her “crowning” as “queen of Cathedral Square” by SASH wellness nurse Christina Melvin.
Cathedral Square has named the development in honor of Allard, 93, the organization’s longest-tenured resident. She has lived at 3 Cathedral Square, the organization’s first property, since it opened in 1979.
Allard Square will provide 39 one- and two-bedroom apartments for older Vermonters at both affordable and market-rate rents. The residence will meet Efficiency Vermont standards for a High Performance Multifamily Building and will include numerous amenities for residents, including covered parking, air conditioning, secure storage units and garden beds. The development is a public/private partnership by the nonprofit Cathedral Square Corporation of South Burlington and Snyder Braverman Development Company of Shelburne.
Citing the skyrocketing need for affordable housing for older Vermonters — Vermont is the second-oldest state and soon will be the first in terms of population age — Cathedral Square CEO Kim Fitzgerald noted that her organization alone has more than 800 people on waiting lists for housing. “Allard Square will be a truly mixed income community,” she said. “Twenty-five of the 39 homes will have project-based rental assistance for extremely low-income residents, who will pay 30 percent of their income in rent. Another four will have below-market rents for those earning less than 60 percent of area median income, and 10 will have market-rate rents.”
Also speaking at the event were:
- Helen Riehle, Chair, South Burlington City Council
- Gus Seelig, Executive Director, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board
- Katie Buckley, Commissioner, Department of Housing & Community Development
- Dave Adams, Chief of Program Operations, Vermont Housing Finance Agency
- Art Casavant, Vice President for Community Development & CRA Officer, People’s United Bank
- Cindy Morgan, Senior Marketing Executive, New England Federal Credit Union
- Chris Snyder, Partner, Snyder Braverman Development Company
Construction is scheduled to last one year, concluding in October 2018, with occupancy slated for November 2018.
Pictured above, from left: Art Casavant, VP for community development, People’s United Bank; Jeff Kantor, community development consultant; Katie Buckley, commissioner, Vermont Department of Housing & Community Development; Cindy Morgan, senior marketing executive, New England Federal Credit Union; Kim Fitzgerald, CEO, Cathedral Square; Doris Allard, longtime Cathedral Square resident and the building’s namesake; Chris Snyder, partner, Snyder Braverman Development Co.; Gus Seelig, executive director, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board; Dave Adams, chief of program operations, Vermont Housing Finance Agency; Cindy Reid, director of development, Cathedral Square; Ken Braverman, partner, Snyder Braverman Development Co.