first_imgDATE: August 9, 2004CONTACT: Kenn Sassorossi Housing Vermont, 863-8424 John Powell Lake Champlain Housing Development Corporation, 863-5248Waugh Opera House Rehabilitation Construction Begins- Senator Leahy Visits Site -[St. Albans, VT] A historic, four-story building located in the heart of downtown St. Albans is undergoing a complete rehabilitation. When completed, twenty affordable apartments will be constructed on the top three floors of the former Waugh Opera House on Main Street, also known as the Doolin Building. Co-partners Housing Vermont and the Lake Champlain Housing Development Corporation are leading the $3.7 million renovation.US Senator Patrick Leahy joined developers and funders today in a tour of the Waugh Opera House property. Leahy was instrumental in obtaining federal HUD funding for the project. Senator Leahy was joined by City of St. Albans Mayor Peter Delauriers and City Manager Brian Searles.The building boasts a beautiful façade and is listed on the National Register for Historic Buildings. Built circa 1892, the top two floors of the building were formerly used as an opera house until a building fire in the 1940s destroyed much of that community cultural resource. The upper stories of the building are now vacant.The recently renovated first floor and basement contain Chow Bella Restaurant, Maple City Cards & Candy, and office space. The current owner, H & K Irish, Inc., will retain ownership of the first floor and basement. Housing Vermont and Lake Champlain Housing Development Corporation will purchase the upper three floors and restore interior and exterior historic building features. The 20 affordable apartments will include eighteen 1-bedroom and two 2-bedroom options.The Waugh Opera House is expected to open for residents next summer. The apartments will be managed by Lake Champlain Housing Ventures, a subsidiary of the Lake ChamplainHousing Development Corporation, which manages over 1,000 affordable apartments in northwest Vermont.In addition to the HUD Special Purpose grant, funding for the Waugh Opera House rehabilitation is provided through a variety of public and private sources including the Vermont Community Development Program (through the City of St. Albans), Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, Efficiency Vermont, federal HOME funds, historic tax credits, and housing tax credits allocated by Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA).For more information about the Waugh Opera House, please contact Kenn Sassorossi (Housing Vermont) at 863-8424 or John Powell (Lake Champlain Housing Development Corporation) at 863-5248.###last_img

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