Brownfield clean-up will soon be underway at the former Montpelier Granite Works (MGW) site. This clean-up is made possible by the revolving loan funds (RLF) of the Agency of Commerce & Community Development (ACCD) and the Northwest Regional Planning Commission (NRPC). Each is contributing $200,000 in clean-up funding towards the $500,000 total remediation cost. These loans were underwritten by the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA). Both RLFs were capitalized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The brownfield clean-up funding will support asbestos mitigation and soil remediation at the property to prepare the site for redevelopment. The redevelopment envisions the demolition of smaller structures and outbuildings, construction of paved parking areas and driveways, and renovation of the impressive former granite shed.
The construction, clean-up, and redevelopment of the site is being managed by Connor Contracting, Inc. (CCI), a 30-year-old general contracting company based in Berlin and St. Albans, Vermont. CCI’s affiliate, Connor Brothers Redevelopment Company, LLC, purchased the property in February 2020. The Connor companies are owned by Fred, Steve, Mike, and John Connor. Prospective tenants for the 15,000 +/- square foot building – 1.6-acre site are invited to call Fred Connor at (802) 223-3843.
Vacant today, this property has a 100+ year history as a granite manufacturing facility. Once remediated, the property is anticipated to be used for commercial or mixed-use (residential/commercial) development. Making an initial investment through the RLFs, the property is expected to leverage $2 million in additional value and create up to 60 jobs once complete. The project will also make great use of existing infrastructure on the property to save both time and costs.
“NRPC is thrilled to contribute brownfields funds towards the revitalization of the historic industrial area along Barre Street in Vermont’s capital city,” said Greta Brunswick, Senior Planner at Northwest Regional Planning Commission.
“I am eager to see this transformation; it has been some time since the ACCD’s Brownfield Initiative has been able to support clean-up at a Central Vermont site. The economic development potential of this project is incredible. We are grateful to Connor Contracting for advancing this project, and for our on-going relationships with state and federal remediation partners,” said Kristie Farnham, ACCD Director of Business Support and Brownfield Program Manager.
“EPA is committed to supporting Brownfields cleanups like this one at the former Montpelier Granite Works site that result in a cleaner environment and healthier local economy,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. “We’re proud to work with our dedicated state agency partners in Vermont who share our commitment to ensuring Brownfields sites are transformed into places that can benefit their communities once again.”
“VTDEC is excited to see the cleanup move forward at this site and for this former industrial property to be put back into reuse. This project has been a great example of collaboration between multiple state partners including several regional planning commissions who contributed EPA grant funding for the environmental assessment work and cleanup planning,” said Kim Caldwell, Environmental Analyst at Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.
About the Brownfields Initiative
ACCD’s brownfields program is funded, in part, through a grant from the EPA Brownfields Program. For more information on redevelopment of a brownfields site, please visit https://accd.vermont.gov/economic-development/funding-incentives/brownfields-initiative
Connor Brothers Redevelopment Company, LLC is enrolled in the Brownfields Reuse and Environmental Liability Limitation Act (BRELLA) Program. This program provides applicants with protections from certain environmental liabilities as well as access to funding and other incentives. For more information, please visit https://dec.vermont.gov/waste-management/contaminated-sites/brownfields
The Northwest Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) is a governmental organization representing Franklin and Grand Isle Counties in northwest Vermont. Commissioners appointed by local governments serve on the Board of Commissioners and guide the work of NRPC, which includes regional land use issues, transportation priorities, emergency preparedness, economic development, natural resource issues, public/private sector cooperation, and review of Act 250 projects. For more information on NRPC, visit www.nrpcvt.com.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is Vermont’s economic development finance lender. VEDA’s mission is to contribute to Vermont’s economic vitality by providing a broad array of financing programs to eligible businesses that create jobs and help advance Vermont’s public policy goals. VEDA offers a wide range of low-cost lending options. VEDA partners with the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to manage the State of Vermont’s Brownfield Revitalization Fund. VEDA makes loans from the Fund as approved by ACCD to finance the completion of DEC approved Corrective Action Plans for Brownfield sites throughout Vermont, enabling companies to put properties back into productive use and frequently help revitalize downtowns and other sites. For more information about VEDA, visit https://www.veda.org/.
About VTDEC Brownfields Program
The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC) encourages brownfield reuse projects as a means of accomplishing positive environmental and human health impacts while advancing sound land-use practices. Reuse of historically productive properties supports sustainable development trends and promotes community and economic growth. The VTDEC Brownfields Program works to provide developers with tools to help deliver projects in a safe, timely, and cost-effective manner, focusing on three areas: limitation of environmental liability; technical assistance; and financial assistance. Our Brownfields Handbook describes how to navigate a variety of brownfields redevelopment.