Wilmington Non-Profit Purchases Flood Damaged Building

03/15/12 7:04AM By Nancy Eve Cohen
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VPR/ Nancy Eve Cohen
The Parmalee and Howe building in Wilmington has just been purchased by The Wilmington Fund VT. It has been unoccupied since the flood.

(Host) A newly-formed non-profit has just purchased a key, flood-damaged building in Wilmington's historic village. 

The group calls itself The Wilmington Fund VT, and it wants to rejuvenate the local economy by renovating flooded buildings, like this one.

VPR's Nancy Cohen reports.

(Cohen) The Parmelee and Howe building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, hugs the corner of Routes 9 and 100 in the heart of downtown. 

The brick structure, with its arched windows, was built in 1930 and first housed a drug store with a soda fountain and a hardware store. More recently, an upscale clothing boutique and a coffee shop were there.

But since the flood it's been boarded up. Julie Lineberger is on the Board of the Wilmington Fund VT.

(Lineberger) "It's such  a pivotal building. When people are coming in , visitors from out of state, when they  go up the mountain you just turn the corner and you see it. For that to stay dark would have been a detriment to the entire economics of the village.

(Cohen) The Parmelee and Howe building is one of eight in the village that's empty. Dan Kilmurray, President of the Wilmington Fund, says the Fund's long-term goal is not to own property

(Kilmurray) "We would like to get this building occupied, get it cash flowing positively and get it sold."

(Cohen) Kilmurray says he hopes the purchase of this building will jumpstart the renovation of others. He hopes it will be renovated and occupied by the summer.

For VPR News, I'm Nancy Cohen.

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