BRATTLEBORO - The Development Review Board held two site visits Monday to take a look at about $21 million worth of pending projects.
The board gathered on Buttonwood Hill Road at 5 p.m. to meet with property owner John Brunelle who wants to build a $3 million senior housing complex off of Black Mountain Road in North Brattleboro.
The board then reconvened in the Harmony Parking Lot to meet with Bob Stevens and Craig Miskovich, two of the partners who hope to invest $18 million in the purchase and redevelopment of the Brooks House on Main Street.
DRB Chairman Tim Culbertson said the site visits were important for the members to be able to view the topography and structures that both development teams plan to alter as part of their plans.
Brunelle wants to build 34 independent two-bedroom apartments on his 33-acre property. The apartments will be priced for middle income residents, and are not projected to meet affordable housing price points.
At the site visit Monday the board members walked around the site to hear about Brunelle's plans to level the site, change the access road and build the new cottages in a circle.
Brunelle is still developing his storm water plan, which is the final part of his application. He hopes to have the storm water plan by November and hopes to begin work in the spring.
Stevens and Miskovich, who are part of Mesabi LLC, the development team that wants to purchase and develop the
Along with developing the interior, which would not need approval by the DRB, Mesabi wants to add two new stories to the rear mall building, change the parking and alter the stair tower which overlooks the Harmony Lot.
Vermont State College is considering moving its campus to the Brooks House.
If the college decides to move to another building, then Stevens said developers would probably only add a single floor.
The development group also wants to take down the former Frankie's Pizza building, but the building is part of the historic Brooks House and was also built in 1872.
The Brooks House includes a number of the existing parking spaces in the Harmony Lot.
Stevens is waiting to hear from the Division of Historic Preservation, and if the building has to stay then Stevens said the group will probably rent it out to another restaurant owner. If the building can come down, then developers want to extend the planned plaza that they hope to establish in the rear of the Brooks House.
The board had some concerns about the uncertainty of the Frankie's building, but in the end the board approved the site plan.
Mesabi LLC hopes to have its financing secured by the end of this year, and begin construction early in 2013.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 802-254-2311 ext. 279.