Business Notes: Jan 17, 2016
Windsor — The building formerly known as the Inn at Windsor, which had been owned by the Mascoma Savings Bank since 2014, when the bank foreclosed on the property, finally has a new owner: Steve Heim, a Boston real estate investor and residential contractor who specializes in renovating historic homes.
Heim said he acquired the 1-acre property on Apothecary Lane adjacent to the Masconic Lodge and across from the Windsor Diner recently from the bank for about $52,000.
Not long ago, before Mascoma foreclosed, the inn was listed for sale at $399,000, according to real estate information provider Realtor.com.
The 4,500-square-foot building, which dates to 1791 and, during its more than 200-year history, has variously served as a doctor’s house, a church, a bingo hall and an inn, has “got a lot of history and a lot of character,” Heim said.
“I’m just trying to figure out what the best use is.”
Heim, who also owns a getaway home in Barnard, said he learned about the property from a real estate website that sends out alerts when listing prices drop.
He said he is weighing options over what to do with the property, including possibly refurbishing it back into an inn or converting the five bedroom, five bath building into low-cost condos or rent-to-own apartments.
At the moment, Heim is focused on repairing the roof and getting the structure winterized so his contractors can work on it through the winter. He said he’s received a tax abatement from the town and is working with the state on getting tax credits.
“It’s such a nice change of pace to be working with a town like Windsor. You call the assessor’s office and they answer the phone,” Heim marveled.
The purchase of the former Inn at Windsor is the second foreclosed bed-and-breakfast in Windsor to get a new owner in recent months.
The 16-room Juniper Hill Inn, which closed in 2014, was bought last year by Ken Lucci and his sister Brenda Bradley, who also own Sumner Mansion in Hartland.
The Inn at Windsor was formerly owned by Holly Taylor, who painstakingly renovated the bed-and-breakfast beginning in the 1980s with her former husband before they welcomed their first guests in 1995.
But the 2008 recession and aftermath severely cut into people willing to spend $500 for a weekend’s stay, and Taylor eventually couldn’t afford to meet the mortgage payments, leading to the bank foreclosing on the property.
Nine months after closing its Hanover store, Amidon Jewelers has closed its Claremont store, leaving the longtime Upper Valley jeweler with stores in West Lebanon and Keene.
“We’re consolidating the business to focus on our two other locations,” said Amidon co-owner Steve Doubleday, noting that corporate staff will remain located in Claremont where it moved from Hanover last year. He said that one employee was let ago as a result of the store closing.
Amidon’s Claremont location was opened in 2010 and “the store was extremely successful initially and has continued to do business but we’ve been watching trends going in the other direction,” Doubleday said. He said that even though Claremont remains “one of the top Zip codes” from where the company draws customers, “with some of the large retailers moving out it’s become less of a shopping district.”
Doubleday said that because Amidon’s owns the building on Washington Street in Claremont where the store was located, “it makes sense for the corporate staff to remain here and use the space” rather than moving. He is now looking for a new tenant to take over the 1,200 square feet of retail space formerly occupied by the store.
Recent vacancies at the Hanover Park retail building on Lebanon Street have opened up the opportunity for one of the tenants to move downstairs and into prime ground floor space: Furniture designer and maker Pompanoosuc Mills in February will move into 2,100 square feet of space that was formerly occupied by woman’s clothing store Clays, which closed last May. Jim Rubens, owner of the Hanover Park building, said in an email that with “Pompy” joining the Burlington-based creperie Skinny Pancake, which has just began renovating 4,000 square feet of space formerly occupied by the clothing store Essentials for Men and chocolatier The Chocolate Shop, to be ready for a targeted April opening, the street level of Hanover Park is now “100 percent occupied.” Last month, Hanover psychologist Donna Steinberg also relocated her practice that was located above Robert’s Flowers on West Wheelock Street and into Hanover Park, Rubens reported.
Ledyard National Bank has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a “Gold Level Fit-Friendly Worksite.” The bank has been working toward this over the past few years, it said in a news release, and has taken steps to educate its employees and clients about the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. With leadership from its Wellness Committee, the bank met criteria in physical activity, nutrition, smoking policy and workplace culture to accomplish this recognition. As part of its application, that cites it work with the Ledyard Live Well Walking Challenge, which ran in September and October, partnering with Hypertherm, King Arthur Flour and Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital. Over four weeks, 308 participants across the four companies walked a total of 74,143,179 steps. The challenge will become an annual event for the bank, which hopes to draw more participants each year and open the challenge up to other companies.
Dr. Michael Malik and his wife, Dr. Naomi Malik, have opened a practice, Woodstock Chiropractic & Functional Medicine, at 47 Pleasant St. in Woodstock Village. The couple have been in practice for more than 15 years and moved to the Upper Valley from Providence, R.I., last fall. Both are graduates of Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. Michael Malik specializes in structural alignment with a focus on posture correction and sports injury. He has post-graduate certifications in chiropractic biophysics posture correction technique and the Mally technique for sports injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome. Naomi Malik is trained and certified by the Kalish Institute for Functional Medicine. The practice can be reached at 802-457-7012 or by visiting http://www.woodstockVTchiro.com.
The next Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours is scheduled for Jan. 2, 5:30-7 p.m., in the Dwinell Room, Harvest Hill, at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lebanon, the event will offer light refreshments, beer and wine, and door prizes. Reserve a spot by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Upper Valley chapter of SCORE is offering a winter workshop series on Thursday evenings beginning Jan. 28. Unless otherwise noted, the workshops will be held from 6-9 p.m., at 20 West Park St., Lebanon, Suite 316, in the Citizens Bank Building. The series schedule is as follows:
Jan. 28: Media and Video Marketing — This workshop is for business owners, entrepreneurs and marketing managers who want to better understand the use and benefits of video marketing and how it can enhance their business.
Feb. 4: Managing Your Food and Beverage Business — This workshop covers the critical things you need to know to be successful in the food and beverage business. Meeting your peers is an added benefit.
Feb. 11: LinkedIn, Blogging, and Google Analytics — This workshop covers what you need to know about using the power of LinkedIn and blogging to build your professional identity.
Feb. 18: How to Make a Video — Come to this workshop, being held at Franklin Pierce University on Airport Road in West Lebanon, and leave with your own short video that you can use to promote yourself or your business. Learn about and actually do planning, recording, editing and publishing your creation. Learn about publishing on Facebook, YouTube and other media.
Feb. 25: So You Want to Own Your Own Business — A primer on developing and managing any small business, this workshop provides critical materials and a step-by-step process for developing a workable business plan. This is important for all small businesses, and essential when seeking financing.
Cost is $30 per workshop. For more information or to reserve a spot, visit http://www.uppervalley.score.org, email email@example.com or call 603-448-3491.
The Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual Governor’s Lunch is scheduled for Feb. 1, at noon, at the Hartness House, 30 Orchard St., Springfield, Vt. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is scheduled to speak at the event, which is co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Springfield. The event is open to Rotarians, chamber members and their employees. Others are asked to contact the chamber if they would like to attend as a guest. Reserve a spot by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-885-2779.
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