Putnam Block Project Approved for $3.1 million for redevelopment

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) on Thursday announced more than $3.1 million in approved funding commitments for the Putnam Block redevelopment project in the heart of downtown Bennington. The project is being funded through a combination of federal, state and local sources, including the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) ($1.25M), a Downtown and Village Center Tax Credit Award ($1.3M), as well as ACCD Brownfields program ($150,000) and Windham Regional Commission’s Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund ($430,000) – both of which are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sub-grants.

“I appreciate the tremendous work by all partners on this project. Bennington’s revitalization efforts should be commended,” said Governor Phil Scott. “This project is a great example of how public and private funds can come together via expanded TIF district legislation to transform our downtowns. This historic block in Bennington will once again be a hub of commerce, employment, and housing in one of the state’s most vibrant downtowns.”

Putnam Block, Bennington. VBM file photo.

The redevelopment will demolish various blighted buildings and renovate approximately 55,000 square feet of space in former Hotel Putnam, Courthouse and Winslow Buildings. Residential units, retail and office space will be constructed across all three buildings. Tenants have already signed on and include offices for the Visiting Nurses Association & Hospice of the Southwest Region, a grocery store and a 100-seat restaurant. This is the first portion of a planned multi-part project. The next phase will include additional residential units, space for Southwestern Vermont Health Care and other commercial spaces.

The project was taken on by Bennington County Industrial Corporation (BCIC) and the Bennington Redevelopment Group, with the expressed purpose of cleaning up and redeveloping a central downtown block for commercial and residential uses. 

"The Putnam Block project is a central piece of the ongoing redevelopment efforts in Southwestern Vermont,” said BCIC Board President Richard "Dixie" Zens. “BCIC appreciates the willingness of partners like the Windham Regional Commission and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development in funding these activities to allow the project to move forward at this time."

For more information on this project visit:  www.putnamblock.com

About BCIC

Bennington County Industrial Corporation is the regional development corporation in Southwestern Vermont and is dedicated to improving the economic climate and supporting area employers in that region.

 About Bennington Redevelopment Group

Bennington Redevelopment Group is a group of local business leaders, institutions, and civic-minded investors dedicated to improving the local community through strategic investment such as the Putnam Block Redevelopment. Partners include: The Bank of Bennington; Southwestern Vermont Health Care; Bennington College; Southern Vermont College; Dimitri Garder/Global Z International; Brian and Jennifer McKenna; Anthony and Jacqueline Marro; Sheela and Elisabeth Harden; M&S Development; and 4 Putt Properties,LLC. They are enrolled in VT DEC’s Brownfields Program.

 About Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

The ACCD’s mission is to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities. The ACCD is comprised of four Departments: the Department of Economic Development (DED), the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Department of Administration, and the Department of Tourism and Marketing (VDTM). The Agency reports annually to the Legislature on activities and outcomes.  For more information on the Vermont ACCD, visit http://accd.vermont.gov/.

Source: Governor 1.3.2019