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Archive for the 'Construction' Category

Silversmith Commons in the Old North End of Burlington, VT

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Redstone broke ground in January on the Silversmith Commons in the Old North End of Burlington.  The project is located at 260 North Winooski Avenue, and consists of 22 units, 20 of which are two bedroom units and 2 of which are one bedroom units.  19 of the units will be rented at market rate, and the remaining 3 at an affordable rate to meet the city’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance.   Development Manager Erik Hoekstra, a resident of the Old North End, is dedicated to creating a residential community in line with the goals and overall feeling the neighborhood.  One of those goals is to increase the presence of locally owned stores in the area, and in that vein, Redstone is still looking for a retail tenant to fill the 1,526 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

Silversmith Street View.jpg

More about the Old North End

Looking at a map, North Winooski Avenue looks almost like a radial line shooting out from the center of the Old North End.  It’s one of the main arteries leading into Burlington, and has been experiencing steady growth in the past few years.  According to the Allen & Brooks Report from December of 2013, the Old North End neighborhood “is gaining popularity among renters because of its close proximity to downtown, availability of shops and services within the neighborhood, and typically lower rents”.  This is an attractive neighborhood for young professionals looking for low rents in an urban environment.

It’s not just the rent that makes this location desirable.  The Old North End is the most diverse neighborhood in Burlington.  It has long welcomed immigrants, and espouses a culture of acceptance and community.  Residents of the new Silversmith Commons will have access to all the wonderful establishments that make the Old North End what it is.  Places like Barrio Bakery and Cafe, which has expanded significantly since it first opened eight years ago, and Pho Hong, which has long been a staple restaurant in the area, give the area culinary flair.  Of course, there’s also the Old North End Ramble, a summertime celebration that really shows off the full scale of the creative community in the area.

One of the positive aspects of living so close to Downtown Burlington is that residents don’t have to have a car.  North Winooski Avenue features large bike lanes, and in the event of a bike malfunction, Old Spokes Home bike shop is just around the corner.  Another plus comes in the form of a car share “pod”, a dedicated parking spot that will house a CarShare Vermont vehicle that can be reserved at any time, 24/7.  This is an exciting project in a very exciting place, and we can’t wait for the opening of the Silversmith in early June.

photo-1Silver Smith2

 

The Historic Woodbury Armory, Burlington, VT

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Cruising down Main Street toward the waterfront, some of you may have seen construction vehicles busy at 101 Main, or the Woodbury Armory. The building has been under construction since June of 2013, and is slated for completion by the end of 2014. At that time, the first Hilton Garden Inn in Vermont will open its doors. The hotel will be a welcome addition to Burlington’s hospitality scene, providing visitors with a unique experience in an incredible downtown location.

It may be hard to picture now, but this is what the project will look like come the end of 2014.

It may be hard to picture now, but this is what the project will look like come the end of 2014.

This granite lintel bearing the name of the Armory was covered with stucco when Redstone first bought the building.  Imagine our surprise when we uncovered it in 2007!
This granite lintel bearing the name of the Woodbury Armory was covered with stucco when Redstone first bought the building. Imagine our surprise when we uncovered it in 2007!

Redstone acquired the historic Woodbury Armory in 2003 with the intent to continue the redevelopment of the majority of the city block bounded by Main, Pine, St. Paul and King Streets. This vital and previously underutilized square of Burlington will serve as a vital link between the Church Street Marketplace and the Burlington Waterfront, as envisioned in the City’s recent urban planning vision PlanBTV. Redstone appreciates the rising tide of unique, farm-to-table cuisine in Burlington, and is currently looking for a restaurant to fill the ground level space of the armory. This space is approximately 6,000 square feet in a mixed-use district and could accommodate a wide variety of retail/commercial tenants. In addition, we are working with Burlington City Arts (BCA) on two outdoor public art projects; one sculpture will be prominently featured adjacent to the Armory along the Main Street frontage and another sculpture will be part of a pocket garden on St. Paul Street just north of the Hinds Lofts.

Some minor complications of urban redevelopment along with the harsh winter weather has slowed down construction a bit, putting the project slightly behind schedule. All in all, we think that’s pretty good. Opechee Construction Corporation is our design-build contractor for this project and throughout the bitter weather they have continued to do excellent work with a team of exceptional sub-contractors.
The next time you are walking past the armory, stop and take a look. Listen to the sound of the nail guns and look at the granite slab above the armory doorway bearing its name, as well as the crowning keystone bearing the date this building was first erected: 1904. This project is a wonderful portrait of how old and new can blend harmoniously, and how we, as responsible citizens, can appreciate our past while looking to the future.

Already you can see the framework of the porte-cochere off of Main Street, which will serve as the entrance to the hotel.

Already you can see the framework of the porte-cochere of the Woodbury Armory off of Main Street, which will serve as the entrance to the hotel.

Check out what Preservation In Pink has to say about the project!

 

Green Building 101

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

What is Green Building?  According to the Vermont Green Building Network http://www.vgbn.org “Buildings have a tremendous impact on the environment–both during construction and through their operation.  Green building is a loosely defined collection of land-use, building design, construction, and operational strategies that reduce these environmental impacts. Green building practices offer an opportunity to create environmentally sound and resource-efficient buildings by using an integrated approach to design: architects, engineers, land planners, building owners and operators, and constructors get together and design the building by looking for cooperative or advantageous relationships between parts of the project.”
 
At Redstone we believe Green Building starts with selecting the right site.  Many of our projects involve reusing existing buildings and focusing investment in Vermont’s downtowns and village centers.  Working in locations with a variety of compatible uses and transportation alternatives results in fewer single occupancy vehicle miles traveled by building occupants.  After site selection, using high quality materials that will last long term, are sourced locally when possible, and do not contain harmful chemicals is critical.  Additionally, designing mechanical and electrical systems that perform efficiently reduces energy consumption and lowers a building’s carbon footprint.
 
There are a variety of excellent sources for additional information on Green Building topics and techniques.  In addition to the Vermont Green Building Network, a couple of my favorites are Environmental Building News (based in Brattleboro) http://www.buildinggreen.com/ and the U.S. Green Building Council http://www.usgbc.org/