• Stephen Mills, Times Argus

Building project on agenda for City Council meeting

MONTPELIER — The next stage in the redevelopment of a former Mowatt property in the Capital City will be discussed at a City Council meeting Wednesday.

The Mowatt Trust owned the former Montpelier Beverage & Redemption Center on Main Street. The building, together with the nearby former Vermont Association for the Blind building were both demolished to allow for the construction of a recreation path linking Taylor and Main streets.

A third parcel of land adjoining the beverage center is also in play as the city decides how to redevelop the site with a proposal to build an office or apartment building. The Mowatt Trust originally proposed to build on the site but said it was unable to raise the necessary funds.

The three sites have been redefined as two lots, according to a memo to the City Council.

“The current planning for these parcels is to build the alternate transportation path from the new bridge to Main Street, reconstruct a road from the Barre Street/Main Street intersection into the North Branch parking lot, create a small green buffer along the North Branch river bank, build 28 parking spaces and open a space for a new privately developed commercial building through an open RFP (request for providers) process,” the memo said.

The memo said the plan had been approved by the Federal Highway Administration, which funded the recreation path as part of the Taylor Street transit center and housing complex. The plan also has Development Review Board approval and is part of project construction plans for the recreation path, the memo added.

“Absent any change in direction, this is what will be built,” the memo said. “These plans were developed before the new parking garage was under consideration. They were also developed in conjunction with a particular private partner (Mowatt Trust) who ultimately withdrew from the building part of the transaction at the final closing.”

Particular questions which could be explored include:

– Can the parking garage meet all or a portion of a new building’s parking needs?

– Can the lot and entry road be redesigned to have more river front green space?

– Is a new private building still a priority for this location?

– If Barre/Main improvements and/or bike path connection need to use existing parking spaces, can spaces on this lot meet that need?


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