Arthur’s Block Purchase Finalized

posted May 2, 2013, 10:11 AM by News & Citizen
  Arthur’s Department Store, the store that anchored downtown Morrisville for about 40 years, has been purchased by Housing Vermont and the Lamoille Housing Partnership (LHP). The two groups plan to begin redevelopment of the Main Street property this week, and convert the three story building  to 18 apartments and 3,350 square feet of commercial space.

“Our purchase of Arthur’s marks the start of a new and exciting phase of this redevelopment project,” said Jim Lovinsky, LHP executive director. 

The redevelopment will begin the week of April 22 with the environmental clean-up of the site. Once this work has been completed, the Billings Building at the west end of the site (known to many as the home of “Casuals”) and the back additions of the main building will be demolished. The interiors of the remaining sections will be completely gutted. Structural improvements will be made to the framing and foundations. New fire and acoustical separation will be installed between the ground floor and the second floor residential uses. The buildings will be re-insulated, effectively receiving a new thermal shell. New Energy Star windows and an insulated roof will be installed. The current façade and vinyl siding will be removed and the storefront rebuilt with new doors and windows. New sprinkler and alarm systems will protect the building and residents. All new interior finishes, fixtures and appliances will be installed and parking will be expanded.

The parking created will be used for tenants, as well as be available to customers of the commercial tenants.

Demolition will take place in July with the rehabilitation of the remaining buildings beginning immediately after and completed in summer 2014.

“At one time the Arthur’s building had a mix of residential and commercial,” said Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens. “We are updating that mixed-use concept in a way which responds to contemporary demands and helps sustain a healthy downtown.”

“Our goal is to provide quality commercial space similar to what we’ve done at our Bemis Block Building in Hardwick with Claire’s Restaurant, the Galaxy Bookshop and Whistle Emporium,” said LHP’s Jim Lovinsky.

Lovinsky said they are in the process of finalizing plans and then will be putting the project out to bid to qualified general contractors. He said they will try to use local crews whereever they can in the project and noted they recently held a workshop to help local construction crews meet the qualification requirements.

The 3,350 square feet of commercial space can be configured for one or more tenants according to Eric Schmitt, Asset Management for Housing Vermont director. 

“The finished commercial area will feature new storefronts and be highly energy efficient,” Schmitt said.  On-site parking will be available. “I’d encourage those interested in learning more about the commercial space to contact Pall Spera Company Realtors at (802) 253-9771 or me at (802) 863-8424,” Schmitt said.

The residential portion of the redevelopment includes 14 one-bedroom and 4 two-bedroom apartments. Thirteen apartments will be affordable and available to individuals earning up to $27,900 and households earning up to $39,780.  The remaining five apartments will be market rate.  These apartments will be managed by Alliance Property Management.

Cover Photos From This Week!!

Lost Nation Brewery has started brewing in the former home of Rock Art Brewery on the end of Wilkins Street in Morrisville.  The first batch of beer began brewing on Thursday, April 18, and they expect to be bottling in about a 

month.  According to Lost Nation’s Allen Van Anda, they plan to open their tasting room once their first beer has 

been on the  store shelves for a bit, probably early June.                                                                                   Smith photo



Due to finding more work than originally expected, lower Bridge Street will be closed for another week as the utilities are moved in anticipation of the truck route (bypass).  The road should be reopened at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 26.                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                                        --Martin photo