Village Center Apartments

Artist’s rendering of Village Center Apartments, 22 units for low- and moderate-income residents in downtown Morrisville.

Twenty-two affordable apartments are coming to Morrisville village.

Lamoille Housing Partnership and Housing Vermont are proposing construction of Village Center Apartments, 22 units for low- and moderate-income residents on a previously unused lot in the heart of downtown Morrisville.

Located on Hutchins Street, the building design includes two staircases, an elevator, a common area with wi-fi, indoor bike storage and sidewalk bike racks. Standing at four stories, the upper level apartments and community sunroom offer views of the surrounding mountains. Onsite amenities include mail and laundry.

Potential tenants must meet income requirements to qualify for the mix of affordable studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments.

“Village Center Apartments will reinvigorate Morrisville’s downtown, supporting the community’s continued success and vibrancy into the future. We are all extremely excited about this project,” says Jim Lovinsky, executive director of Lamoille Housing Partnership.

Monthly rental rates will range from $650 to $1,000, including heat and utilities. According to the Lamoille Housing Needs & Assessment Study, a recent housing analysis of the Lamoille region, fair market rents for similar types of apartments range from $1,000 to $1,400 per month, excluding heat and utilities.

Lamoille Housing Partnership expects to break ground on the project next October, with residents able to move in the following year.

Learn about the project at an upcoming open house on Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 7-9 a.m. at Black Cap Coffee & Beer in downtown Morrisville.

Lovinsky said recent zoning changes enacted in Morrisville opened up the possibility for the affordable housing development groups to transform the unused lot into apartments. “These zoning changes are a win for affordable housing, downtown development and inclusive communities,” he said.

The project includes some challenges, such as the small and steep nature of the site and soil remediation to clean up past fire damage, but Lovinsky said the housing groups are not deterred.

“The site’s central location reduces transportation barriers, because of downtown Morrisville’s walkable nature, as well as proximity to public transportation,” he said. “Residents will have increased access to important local resources including human service agencies, Copley Hospital, and the library, as well as grocery stores, local schools and jobs, and all that the downtown has to offer.”

Opportunities for outdoor recreation and the arts are right around the corner with the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, Oxbow Park and River Arts, he said.

The project has already garnered community support. Clarina Howard Nichols Center Executive Director Becky Gonyea said her organization has experienced “an increase in calls from individuals who are in unsafe, shared living situations due to the lack of safe, affordable housing in the area. Many homeless households receiving housing vouchers cannot find a unit that meets the voucher requirements due to high rents and substandard conditions.”

The building’s design team includes Housing Vermont, Vermont Integrated Architects, Neagly & Chase Construction Company, Engineering Ventures, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, Engineering Services of Vermont and Mumley Engineering Incorporated. A significant part of the cost will be funded by the $37 million housing bond passed by the Vermont Legislature in 2017.

Lamoille Housing Partnership has invested more than $50 million in community development projects across Lamoille County and Hardwick, resulting in the addition of 281 affordable rental apartments. Projects in Morrisville have included Arthur’s on Lower Main Street and Lamoille View, Sylvan Woods in Stowe, and affordable housing sites in Jeffersonville, Johnson and Hardwick.

Details on the open house and project at lamoillehousing.org.

Show us you enjoyed this content by becoming a newspaper subscriber.

We use a Facebook Comments Plugin for commenting. No personal harassment, abuse or hate speech is permitted. Comments should be 1000 characters or fewer. We moderate every comment. Please go to our Terms of Use/Privacy Policy "Posting Rules and Interactivity" for more information.