Human Services Agency moving to new building
MIDDLEBURY — A new 17,000-square-foot building in the Middlebury South Village (MSV) development off Court Street is on track to be finished by the end of March, at which time it will be occupied by the Vermont Agency of Human Services’ Addison County offices that are currently based at 700 Exchange St.
“Things have gone incredibly smoothly,” MSV managing owner Jeff Glassberg said of the project, which broke ground just last September.
“We are ahead of schedule.”
The new, two-story office building will add to a 31-acre mixed-use development that already includes an apartment building, a Chittenden Bank and more than 15 single-family homes. Middlebury South Village officials continue to look for potential commercial/retail and restaurant entities to help round out the project.
In the meantime, MSV will have a stable office tenant in a substantial building that has been built according to rigorous “green” standards for energy efficiency. For example, the new structure maximizes the use of natural light and will be highly insulated.
Those qualities and the village location, among other things, prompted the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services (BGS) to lock into a 10-year lease for the space and pay a higher rate than it has been assessed at 700 Exchange St.
BGS officials reported upon signing the new lease that the state is currently paying $16.10 per square foot in the 17,563-square-foot building at 700 Exchange St., along with an additional $2.50 to $3 per square foot for janitorial services and supplies. The state is scheduled to pay a “full-service” rate of $26.50 per square foot for the 17,000 square feet in MSV.
Approximately 65 workers with the local branches of the Department of Children & Families, Department of Health, Vermont VocRehab (Reach Up) and the Office of Public Guardian will be making the move from 700 Exchange St. to the new MSV building.
“It has worked as well as we could have expected and we would like to do more (buildings in MSV),” Glassberg said.
While MSV officials are poised to welcome new tenants, J.P. Carrara — the Middlebury-based company that owns 700 Exchange St. — is hoping to attract new tenants to fill the impending void. One current tenant will be staying — Addison Community Action/Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, which leases 2,150 square feet of space, according to Carrara property manager Bill Townsend.
That leaves more than 15,000 square feet of space that Carrara will be able to offer to prospective tenants. The state offices had been leasing space at the Exchange Street building for more than 20 years.
“We have had a couple of inquiries,” Townsend said of the space.
Reporter John Flowers is at email@example.com.