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Armory Square Information & News
The NAMCO Block Fact Sheet (Updated: February 29, 2008)
This Fact Sheet on the Block is distributed by the Advisory Committee on the Block, Windsor community volunteers who are assisting in the process of recreating the NAMCO Block (formerly, Armory Square Apartments) as a safe, healthy place to live, and a credit to our community. Please direct your questions and comments to Barbara Rhoad, 674-2326, or at [email protected]
Activities This Past Month, February, 2008
- Relocation of residents to enable Phase 1 construction is almost complete. Less than 16 families continue to live at the Block. This will be the maximum number of households that will be in occupancy during the first phase of construction.
- Construction timetable: The contractor site walk-through will be held March 3. Construction bids will be due and opened on March 26. Construction will start in early April.
- The Windsor Improvement Corporation held a well-attended community informational meeting about the project on February 15. The session entitled “RACLT Namco Presentation” was taped and is being aired in Windsor-On-Air. Check the broadcast schedule at http://windsoronair.wordpress.com/ for dates and times.
- The NAMCO Block is currently known as the Armory Square Apartments, comprising 72 apartments on Union Street in Windsor. Housing Vermont and Rockingham Area Community Land Trust intend to substantially rehabilitate the main Block, and reduce density from 72 apartments to 58 apartments. After more than a year of planning and fundraising, the project is slated to go into construction in April, 2008, and to be completed by December 2009.
- HV Non-Profit, Inc., a subsidiary of Housing Vermont, purchased the Block on September 28, 2007.
- The purchase price was $3.1 million.
- Housing Vermont and Rockingham Area Community Land Trust (RACLT) will be the controlling partners of the Limited Partnership that is being created to own the property long term. The transfer to the new limited partnership will take place this winter.
- Stewart Property Management (SPM), a professional management firm based in Bedford, NH, now manages the property, on a three-year management contract.
- Mike Kemp is SPM’s on-site manager. He currently is on-site from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.
- SPM also provides maintenance services.
- Rockingham Area Community Land Trust provides on-site resident services. RACLT’s office is located in building &, Apartment 1, and is open from 9- 5 Monday through Friday (674-6928).
- Kari Gypson is RACLT’s resident services coordinator. She is focusing on temporary tenant relocation for construction.
- Marion Murrell is RACLT’s full-time AmeriCorps member, working as the Parent-Child Outreach Coordinator.
- Springfield Family Center provides services to residents who must permanently relocate. Katherine Gionet-Kloszewski is the on-site worker.
- A substantial renovation of the main Block will begin in March, 2008. Construction will take between 18 and 24 months.
- The total estimated construction cost is approximately $9 million.
- Housing Vermont and RACLT are working to incorporate the highest levels of energy conservation, and are seeking to reduce significantly the use of fossil fuels. A wood-pellet fired heating system is planned.
- An elevator will serve all four stories.
- A community room and manager’s office will be located on the first floor of the building.
- New parking will be created in what is now a vacant lot on Union Street; and a new playground will also be created across the street from the Block.
- The project architect is Gossens-Bachman Architects from Montpelier, Vermont.
- Funders include USDA Rural Development, The Vermont Housing Finance Agency, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Vermont Community Development Program, NeighborWorks® America, the Town of Windsor, Housing Vermont, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, and Mascoma Savings Bank.
- A community-based “Advisory Committee on the Block” has been formed.
- The Committee will provide information to the community about the project; advocate for resources; and mobilize community volunteer efforts during the project.
Activities This Month, December, 2007
- The fire of December 30 resulted in no serious injuries, but has forced the displacement of seven families. Numerous organizations (Salvation Army, Red Cross, RACLT, Trinity Church, Windsor Connection Resource Center) are assisting in housing, clothing, bedding, etc.
- We are evaluating whether any of building 17 will be able to be r-occupied.
- Current residents at the Block are making decisions about where they will live during the construction process. 31 apartments (buildings 11, 13, 15, 17) will be available during the first phase of construction. All other apartments must be vacant by February 1. RACLT and the Springfield Family Center are assisting households find alternative housing.
- Project construction bid documents are being prepared by the architect, for permit and funding source approval.
- The Advisory Committee is preparing information to present later this winter on community access television, and in displays planned for local businesses and institutions.
- RACLT’s Community Leadership Team worked with residents to plan and hold a Holiday party on December 22. About 60 parents and children attended!
- Donations of clothing, toys and food are being made by individuals and businesses, as a result of solicitation efforts by Marion Murrell, RACLT’s AmeriCorps member.
Advisory Committee Meetings & Announcements
Minutes of December 11, 2007
Previous NAMCO Block Fact Sheet
January 31, 2008
Rockingham Area Community Land Trust
90 Main Street, Suite 1
Springfield, Vermont 05156