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BENNINGTON — Gov. Phil Scott and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) announced $200,000 in support of Bennington's Benn Hi project, part of over $860,000 for rehabilitation and revitalization projects throughout Vermont’s designated downtown and village centers.

In Brattleboro, $79,000 was awarded for a project at 22-26 High Street for façade improvements and code upgrades to a five-story downtown block, providing space for a restaurant, maker’s market, offices, and studios.

"We are extremely grateful to receive this funding assistance for the ongoing rehabilitation project of High Street & Green," said Tom Bodett, co-founder of Hatchspace at 22 High St. "As the home of the HatchSpace community woodworking shop, Wheelhouse Clay Center, Vermont Ctr for Photography, A Vermont Table and about twenty other artists and enterprises we feel obligated to provide a safe, healthy, and attractive building where we can thrive and meet the needs of our users and supporters. It is a grand old building with a storied history in the heart of downtown Brattleboro. These tax credits will allow us to finish the current phase of improvements as we look forward to completing the long list of essential work over the next two to three years. Thank you, Vermonters, for making this possible."

Along with redevelopment of the former Bennington High School and the High Street project, these awards will help generate over $20 million in building improvements around the state. Other projects are located in White River Junction, Enosburg, Jeffersonville and Rutland.

An additional round of funding for later this year will be announced in April, with tax credits available to projects in state-designated Downtowns, Village Centers, and Neighborhood Development Areas.

“These investments are impactful, supporting local businesses, creating new housing, and improving the economic vitality of our community centers,” said Scott in a news release. “This kind of targeted investment in our downtowns and village centers, along with the strategic use of federal relief dollars, shows what we can do to make Vermont an even better place to live and visit.”

“Thanks to the support of the Legislature, we are excited to be able to expand the reach of this program in the coming year,” said Department of Housing and Community Development Commissioner Josh Hanford. “Our next round of funding will allow applicants of state-designated Neighborhood Development Areas to also participate in the program, supporting investments in rental housing around our existing commercial centers.”

The Benn Hi funding will help with redevelopment of the building at 650 Main Street into a multi-purpose community center and 37 apartments, including both affordable and market-rate units.