It is a wonderful thing when someone steps forward to restore, rehabilitate, and bring back to life a landmark building on Historic Main Street in the heart of a designated Village Center! That’s exactly what has happened here.
The Factory Point Bank building has been a Main Street anchor since 1896, both architecturally, and as a focal point for local commerce. It was one of the two clear architectural favorites when the Town did a survey some years ago; and it was the local bank where everyone knew your name.
With more recent changes in the banking industry, the building was left vacant. In the meantime, the Town has worked hard to improve its downtown infrastructure, and to help revitalize the local economy. Two key projects were the ‘undevelopment’ of a nearby auto dealership into a Town Green, and the more recent roundabout project, which has completely transformed the look, feel, and function of the downtown. That in itself has spurred redevelopment activity along the Main Street corridor, including this project at the bank building. Parallel actions included a complete overhaul of the Historic Main Street zoning bylaws to allow a wide array of land uses with little regulation, and being awarded Village Center designation, which set the stage for this adaptive reuse project, and eligibility for historic preservation tax credits to help make the project viable.
Thanks to local investors who realized the opportunities here, and the essential attributes of this prominent building on Historic Main Street, considerable work has already been done to restore this landmark to its rightful place in the community. The exterior facade has been restored. The basement is being renovated into a beautiful bistro. The first floor will be a mix of commercial uses; and the upper floors have been converted into magnificent apartments/condominiums, helping to bring back residential uses into the downtown.
Considerable risk and expense has been put into this building. It is exactly the kind of project that planners and historic preservationists dream of, in the heart of a historic district on Historic Main Street. The public sector worked hard to improve municipal infrastructure and aesthetics, and the private sector is building on that and reinvesting precisely as was hoped would happen.
For all of these reasons, the Factory Point Place project deserves recognition with an award from the Preservation Trust of Vermont. Thank you for your time and consideration. We appreciate all that you do for Vermont, and look forward to your positive response.