The newly opened Algiers Village Housing in Guilford. (Kayla Rice/Reformer)
The newly opened Algiers Village Housing in Guilford. (Kayla Rice/Reformer)
Friday July 12, 2013

GUILFORD -- Big things are happening in Algiers Village.

Less than two weeks after Guilford Country Store reopened, officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate completion of a $4.5 million housing project on Guilford Center Road.

The project brought 17 new apartments to Guilford through an effort led by Windham & Windsor Housing Trust. But Connie Snow, the trust's executive director, said there was plenty of gratitude to spread around.

"This was a multifaceted revitalization effort," Snow said.

Wednesday's ceremony took place at the site of two new buildings at 71 and 91 Guilford Center Road. The first is a duplex consisting of a two-bedroom apartment and a three-bedroom unit, while the second is a much larger, 15-unit structure featuring one- and two-bedroom apartments and a garage.

The apartments are intended to serve a mix of low- and moderate-income residents. Rents range from $525 to $850 monthly, including heat and hot water.

Tenants are scheduled to begin moving in next month.

The non-profit Friends of Algiers Village Inc. had taken ownership of the former warehouse property and held it until the housing project was ready to begin. Construction commenced last year.

Windham Regional Commission was a partner in the project, classified as a "brownfield" revitalization due to its former use. And there was funding assistance from a variety of contributors including TD Bank, Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and NeighborWorks America.

The town of Guilford also assisted.

"We're really proud to have played the role that we played in this community effort," Snow said.

The housing trust also was a major player in a newly completed pipeline that now is delivering Brattleboro's municipal water to Algiers. Officials have said the housing project could not have happened without that water supply. And Anne Rider, who is a Guilford Selectboard member and is active in the Friends of Algiers group, said the water line could not have happened without Windham & Windsor Housing Trust.

"These are huge things for our town," Rider said. "We never could have afforded to do that."

The new water line also is serving Guilford Country Store, which reopened June 28 under the ownership of Marc and Suzanne Tessitore. Friends of Algiers Village renovated and still owns Broad Brook House, in which the store is a tenant.

Additionally, there are seven rentals in the recently renovated Tontine Building at Route 5 and Guilford Center Road.

"This is a real climax to a many-year effort by a lot of members of the community," Eric Morse, Friends of Algiers president, said at Wednesday's event.

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.