Montpelier, VT – Manufacturing expansion and renewable energy investments are among the commercial, small business and agricultural projects approved for $10.1 million in financing by the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA). “More than 100 new jobs across the state will be created as a result of these exciting business investments,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA’s Chief Executive Officer. “VEDA’s $10.1 million in financing will leverage economic development activity totaling almost $48 million – good news for Vermont’s economy.”
Among the projects approved for VEDA financing are:
The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc., Hartford – VEDA gave inducement approval for $3.775 million in revenue bond financing to help The King Arthur Flour Company move forward with the second phase of an ambitious $4.011 million expansion plan. Pending final approval of the bond financing, King Arthur Flour plans to construct a 23,900 square foot building in Hartford’s Billings Farm Commercial Park to house the company’s food manufacturing operation, now located in leased space in the park. As part of the expansion, the space currently leased will continue to house the company’s warehouse and fulfillment center for King Arthur Flour’s catalog and web-based sales. Founded in Boston in 1790, King Arthur Flour is America’s oldest flour company. Located in Vermont since 1984, the company offers everything from top-quality baking products to inspiring educational programs. King Arthur Flour now employs 229 full-time employee owners, a number expected to grow to 274 within three years of the expansion project.
Hilton Gardens Inn, Burlington – VEDA approved $2 million in financing to help construct a 139-room hotel on 1.3 acres of land in downtown Burlington. Owners Catamount/Van Ness LLC will operate the hotel at the corner of Main and Pine Streets as a Hilton Garden Inn franchise. This $33.8 million development project includes renovating the long-vacant historic Armory building, a restaurant/bar, swimming pool, business center, meeting rooms, and approximately 5,000 square feet of retail space for lease. The hotel design also includes a roof top solar array that will generate a portion of the electricity consumed by the new hotel minimizing its carbon impact. The inclusion of renewable energy production consumed by the proposed project enables VEDA to lend a somewhat larger portion of the Project financing than otherwise would be available under VEDA’s enabling legislation. Mascoma Savings Bank, Bank of New Hampshire and New Market Tax Credits through US Bancorp Community Development Corporation and Vermont Rural Ventures will provide the majority of the Project financing. The Hilton Garden Inn is expected to create twenty new full time equivalent (FTE) jobs once it is fully open at the end of 2014.
Black River Produce, North Springfield –VEDA approved a $927,155 Direct Loan to Black River Produce to partially finance its new Net Metering Solar Power Project. The company is completing the installation of three new solar panel arrays totaling 674KW at its headquarters and distribution facilities in North Springfield in the former Idlenot Dairy on River Street and in the former Ben & Jerry’s facility on Fairbanks Road. People’s United Bank is also considering approval of a $927,155 long term loan to partially fund the project. The balance of the $3 million project will be funded by the principals with help from federal and state renewable energy tax credits. The Net Metered solar installation has begun producing power and is expected to be fully operational by August, 2013. The system is expected to produce enough renewable electricity to cover most of Black River Produce’s electrical needs for refrigeration and lighting at both facilities over the next 25 years. Begun in 1978, Black River Produce distributes fresh produce from wholesale producers and local Vermont farms and processors to a wide variety of customers, including colleges and universities, traditional restaurants, food cooperatives and small groceries. The company’s geographic market has expanded over the years to include all of Vermont, western New Hampshire, northwestern Massachusetts, and a small section of eastern New York State. The company currently has 150 employees, a number expected to increase to 190 within three years of the project.
Manufacturing Solutions, Inc., Morrisville – Financing of $200,000 was approved as part of a $1 million project to help Manufacturing Solutions, Inc. (MSI) return to productive use a fully-remediated former Brownfield contaminated property in Morrisville. The property — 191 Stafford Avenue — is the 5.4 acre site of the 22,320 square foot former Lamoille Valley Railroad Engine House. Over the last four years, property owner Sunrise Development, LLC, MSI’s development affiliate, has worked together with MSI to develop, execute and complete a Corrective Action Plan for the property approved by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR). In April, ANR issued a Certificate of Completion for the brownfield remediation work. Ownership of the property will now transfer from Sunrise to a new holding company, 191 Stafford Avenue, LLC, that will lease the property to MSI. MSI, which also leases the 95,000 square foot former Manosh sawmill at 153 Stafford Avenue, primarily will use 191 Stafford Avenue for storage, freeing up space at the 153 Stafford Avenue location to expand production. Founded in 1996, MSI assembles, warehouses, tests and ships products and sub-assemblies under contract for various companies, including Concept2, a Vermont-based nationally-known maker of sophisticated rowing exercise and training equipment. MSI’s primary expertise is determining how to most efficiently compartmentalize and standardize the complex tasks involved in a production process. MSI currently employs 102 persons, a number expected to increase to 119 within three years of the project, for which Union Bank and Northwest Regional Planning Commission have also provided financing assistance.
H. Hirschmann Ltd., West Rutland – Financing of $225,200 was approved as part of a $1 million project to nearly double the size of H. Hirschmann Ltd’s (HHL’s) manufacturing space in the West Rutland Industrial Park. Relocated from Germany to Vermont in 1981, HHL designs and manufactures custom high-end wood windows and doors. The company employs 19, a number expected to grow to 23 within three years of the expansion project, for which Merchants Bank is also providing financing.
VEDA also approved:
- Financing of nearly $2 million to Vermont farmers through the Authority’s agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC); and
- Small Business Loan Program financing of $1 million to assist growing Vermont small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is Vermont’s statewide economic development finance lender. VEDA was created by the General Assembly in 1974 with a mission “to contribute to the creation and retention of quality jobs in Vermont by providing loans and other financial support to eligible and qualified Vermont industrial, commercial and agricultural enterprises.”
Over the years, VEDA has grown and adapted its financing programs to keep pace with an ever-changing economy. VEDA offers a wide range of low-cost lending options for Vermont businesses and farms of all sizes, and the Authority’s lending solutions are customized to each borrower’s individual needs. Whether in the form of direct loans, tax-exempt bond issuance or loan guarantee support, VEDA’s innovative financing programs help ensure that Vermont businesses and farms have the capital they need to grow and succeed. VEDA most often lends in conjunction with banks and other financing partners, helping to stimulate economic development activity in Vermont.
Since 1974, VEDA has provided over $1.9 billion in financing assistance to thousands of eligible Vermont entrepreneurs, manufacturers, small businesses, family farms, and agricultural enterprises, helping them to realize their business growth goals, create jobs, and enhance the vitality of Vermont’s economy. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org or call 802-828-JOBS.