• Laura Gebhart

Momentum building in Montpelier

Article featured in Vermont Business Magazine's July 2018 Issue

Photo by George Anderson

Since May, Montpelier has broken ground on two major projects as well as had several businesses open, expand, or make improvements to their locations. Another groundbreaking is scheduled for summer, and important public infrastructure improvements go under consideration later this year. The activity in Montpelier in 2018 is a result of significant planning and collaboration, but it is also an indicator of more to come.

Over the past few years, Montpelier has taken key steps to be more proactive towards its economic development opportunities. Through an economic development strategic plan, it recognized the need for an independent economic development organization and created the Montpelier Development Corporation. The city recognized the limitations of its zoning code and revised it earlier this year. Montpelier continues to ask important questions about what it wants to be and how it can help its businesses thrive.

At the same time, early successes are coming to the fore. The city has seen groundbreakings at One Taylor Street – a mixed-use housing and transit facility – construction of eighteen affordable housing units on the French Block, grand openings for Onion River Outdoors and Roam, and a groundbreaking for Caledonia Spirits this summer for its new distillery and tasting room. Other projects are expected to enter the queue if key improvements to water and sewer infrastructure, roads, and parking amenities are approved in November.

With proximity to state agencies and non-profit services, businesses have access to an array of high-quality resources. The Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation and Central Vermont Chamber provide important regional perspectives when working with businesses on retention, expansion, or attraction endeavors. In the City of Montpelier, we are fortunate to have local, hands-on assistance to navigate regulatory processes and align project plans with community visions.

The Montpelier Development Corporation exists to connect people with opportunities to invest and thrive in Montpelier. The organization supports economic activity, works to retain and attract jobs, and coordinates with local, regional, and state entities to ensure Montpelier’s long-term economic vitality.

Montpelier Alive, the downtown community association, enhances quality of life by cultivating a downtown with diverse retail, dining, cultural, business, and residential uses. Montpelier Alive also helps businesses connect with and contribute to the community through various events and beautification projects.

Lastly, the municipal government is a strong partner that has taken significant strides to evaluate its processes and provide planning and community expertise. It is also proposing public infrastructure projects that would catalyze important commercial and residential developments in the city.

All this is to say that Montpelier is celebrating the projects already underway, continuing to support its existing businesses, and inviting new investments that contribute to a prosperous future for those who live, learn, and work in the City.

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