Groundbreaking at 95 North Avenue

Posted On April 1, 2016 By | No Comments on Groundbreaking at 95 North Avenue

BURLINGTON – Gov. Peter Shumlin and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger joined COTS and Housing Vermont on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, to kick off the redevelopment of the COTS building at 95 North Avenue.  When completed in early 2017, the new facility will offer 14 affordable apartments and a new permanent home for the COTS’ Daystation program, while also enabling COTS to make its program space for family services and homelessness prevention more accessible and energy efficient.

IMG_3081“COTS is an invaluable resource. Today’s groundbreaking is a testament to the hard work of Rita and all the staff and volunteers at COTS who work every day to make their community a better place,” Gov. Shumlin said. “I want to congratulate them on this milestone and thank them for all the work they have done and will continue to do in the years to come.”

COTS purchased 95 North Avenue from Burlington College in 2010 to house its homeless prevention and family services programs, and administrative offices.  In 2012, a storm destroyed the Daystation’s previous permanent home, which was located in downtown Burlington.  Since then, the program, which connects homeless adults with services and community resources, has continued to provide services, moving several times to temporary locations.

“Housing Vermont is excited to partner with COTS in this project which not only creates sorely needed housing, but also allows COTS to integrate programs to better serve their clients,” said Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens.  “This project will benefit the community in many ways for years to come.”

Of the 14 95 North outsideapartments, 12 apartments will be studio and two will be one-bedroom units — all will have their own bathrooms and kitchens.  The studio will measure about 512 square feet while the one-bedroom units will be 575 and 695 square feet.  The residential space includes a common living room, laundry room, and additional storage areas.

“The 95 North Avenue project goes beyond a building renovation,” said Rita Markley, COTS executive director. “This project will create a permanent home for people in our community, while helping many other families and individuals find a home or avert the crisis of homelessness entirely.”

Funding for the project, totaling $6.6 million, came from a mix of public and private sources, including a COTS Capital Campaign, to cover total development costs.  Housing Vermont’s Green Mountain Housing Equity Fund VI invested $2.7 million, and the Merchants Bank is providing construction financing and a permanent loan.  Other sources of financing include the City of Burlington, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Deve95 North insidelopment through the Town of Williston, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, Efficiency Vermont, and HUD.

“We are grateful to our partner Housing Vermont, and the many public and private funders who have made this project possible. We are thankful to be in such a generous and compassionate community,” Markley said.

COTS and Housing Vermont previously partnered on the successful Canal Street Veterans Housing in Winooski, which created 16 transitional apartments for veterans and their families, as well as 12 permanent affordable units. The facility opened in January 2011. The U.S. Veterans Administration recently conducted its annual review of Canal Street, where the COTS program exceeded all performance measures for the previous year. Among the notable 2015 outcomes: 87 percent of residents who left Canal Street moved into permanent housing, and 100 percent of those who exited (and were able to work) were employed.

The general contractor on the project is J.A. Morrissey, Inc. and the project architect is Bob Duncan of Duncan * Wisniewski Architecture.

For additional media coverage of the event:

And, for more photos from the event, check out our Facebook album.

 

Categories: Community Partner, Events, Homeless Prevention, Homelessness, Housing
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