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Smart Growth Collaborative Recognizes Brattleboro Redevelopment Project

A partnership of organizations that support smart growth in Vermont has awarded a local developer special recognition for rehabilitating Brattleboro’s historic Brooks House.

The Vermont Smart Growth Collaborative, of which VNRC is a key member, recently recognized Mesabi LLC with a Smart Growth Housing Endorsement for its proposed redevelopment of the historic downtown building. The project includes 36 market-rate apartments and 40,000 square feet of retail, business, and restaurant space on the ground and second floors. The project will feature a third floor terrace for residents, covered bicycle parking, and a location in the heart of Brattleboro’s downtown, all of which exemplify Smart Growth principles.

“This is an exciting project that will bring the Brooks House back to life after it was gutted by fire in April of 2011,” said Kate McCarthy, VNRC’s Sustainable Communities Program director. “The project helps ensure that this historic building remains part of the downtown, while at the same time bringing the building into the 21st century with LEED certification to reduce its energy use.” LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a certification of energy efficiency granted by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Smart Growth Housing Endorsement Program was established in 2002 to recognize residential development projects that incorporated smart growth principles into their project design.  Those principles include locating projects in existing settlements, providing transportation options to residents, and promoting a mix of housing types.  Since 2002, 17 projects, comprising more than 700 dwelling units, have received endorsement.

“We’re very excited about this award—we believe strongly in smart growth principles, and believe that dense, mixed-use development is vital to the continued vitality of our downtown and our state,” said Bob Stevens, a partner of Mesabi and principal at Stevens & Associates, the firm designing the project. “Stevens & Associates seeks to use these principles in all our projects, and it’s great to have a building that embraces Smart Growth so fully.”

The Vermont Smart Growth Collaborative is a diverse partnership of Vermont nonprofit organizations working together to promote development strategies in Vermont that build on our state’s traditional landscape.

VNRC, which merged with Smart Growth Vermont in July 2011, is a founding member of the Vermont Smart Growth Collaborative.

For more information about the collaborative, visit www.vtsmartgrowth.org.