White River Junction — Twenty-one affordable studio apartments and first-floor office space are the cornerstones of a downtown developer’s vision for the old American Legion Hall on South Main Street. Both are part of an early plan that has been hailed by regional planners and community leaders as the right fit for White River Junction’s young population.
Hartford resident Matt Bucy, who bought the building last December for $600,000 and whose resume includes renovating a pair of landmark buildings on North Main Street, said in an interview Wednesday that he hopes to see construction begin next summer and have the building open by late 2014.
Bucy also foresees a rented storefront on the first floor. The building will be gutted and the exterior redone to make it thermally efficient. The highlight, though, might be the idea for the apartments, which Bucy said are “just the thing that’s stuck with me as I’ve thought about the project.
“The population of the downtown has been getting somewhat younger … and there’s a need for studio apartments, affordable studio apartments, with the population of people who’s living here for a couple years or a season,” he said, noting that institutions like the Center for Cartoon Studies and Northern Stage theater are among the draws. “And I think there’s just a call for it in general, for people who want to live by themselves and be a part of a community of sort.” Continue reading