BUILDER STUDIO

PROPOSAL: EAT GOOD FOOD SPACE by Colin Davis, class of 2003

Executive summary

Despite several strong economic engines, Middlebury has recently suffered the loss (for different reasons) of several downtown businesses (Amigo's, Eat Good Food, Bookstore in the Alley), while others are struggling to stay afloat. I propose that the college and Battel Block work together to create an indoor plaza spanning the old Eat Good Food space, as well as the current Belladonna space, which would include: · · · · a collection of retail and food shops in a central space (3-5 total) an indoor, public space (café upstairs, lounge downstairs) information/ tourism center riverfront deck (shared by restaurants, beer garden)

The proposed space will help revitalize downtown business, rather than create competition. The college and its diverse student body have a great opportunity to contribute a fresh, hip, flavor to Middlebury’s identity. This would be a collaborative effort, benefiting all involved.

Table of Contents P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7-9 Executive Summary Program Logistics Budget Benefits Background Concept Renderings

P.O. BOX 933, MIDDLEBURY, VERMONT 05753 · (802) 989-0895 · BUILDERSTUDIOVT.COM

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Design/Use Program

General Social space for college students Small retail space Public gathering Connected downtown Performance and Gallery Pedestrian street

Main Floor (word-sketch) Commercial Bustling Circulation Path Public Place-promotion Light-filled Information center Meeting point Collaborative Small performance space Evening drinks

Lower Floor (word-sketch) Flexible Performance space Club Gallery Joint Use Hang Out Lounge Cozy Low key Student work Classes

P.O. BOX 933, MIDDLEBURY, VERMONT 05753 · (802) 989-0895 · BUILDERSTUDIOVT.COM

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Logistics

This proposal has the express support of Bruce Hiland (Battell Block), and Rachael Teachout of Belladonna. It could be done all at once or in phases. Below is a suggested 2 phase timeline. Capital costs would be divided between Battell Block, College, the Town of Middlebury, and known grants. Sub-leased space would defray ongoing cost to the college. Flexibility The main floor is designed to balance security (for retail shops) with a sense of openness and allows the space to operate as an eatery/bar after normal business hours. The loft and the larger retail space can be secured. Circulation A strong central axis is emphasized to encourage pedestrian traffic through the space (out onto the deck and beyond). It would function as a small indoor street or alley, providing access to the shops inside, as well as those along the back of the Battell Block. Phase 1 The renovation of the old Eat Good Food space to include: · one larger retail space on the south wall of main floor · two lofted, smaller spaces utilizing current steel structure (north wall) · two serving stations operated out of current kitchen · café tables/and stand-up bars · minor changes to the bar (creation of Soda Bar? Beer, wine….) · covering current stairs to restrooms (they would be accessed from “lounge”) · flex-space on the first floor for rotating exhibits, booths, a tourist desk, etc. As soon as renovations were complete, Belladonna would move upstairs to occupy the lager retail space, and serve as the anchor business. The vacated space would serve as a simple lounge and performance space. Phase 2 Deck construction, access from east door on main level Upgrade lower level with a bar and more advanced AV equipment, stage, etc. The size and cost of the deck would vary based on buy-in from other businesses in the Battell Block. Ideally, it would tie into (via door) to the former Amigo’s and to Carol’s and continue to the east end of the building where it would descend to street level. P.O. BOX 933, MIDDLEBURY, VERMONT 05753 · (802) 989-0895 · BUILDERSTUDIOVT.COM 3

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Budget (Rough Cost Estimate)

(Design Fee Phase 1 Demolition Loft Main Floor Lower Level Total Phase 2 Deck Lower Level Total Project Grand Total

14,200.00

2,000.00 5,000.00 30,000.00 15,000.00 66,200.00

60,000.00 30,000.00 90,000.00 156,000.00

P.O. BOX 933, MIDDLEBURY, VERMONT 05753 · (802) 989-0895 · BUILDERSTUDIOVT.COM

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Benefits

Middlebury College: · social space in town for students · performance venue / “hang out” spot · town/community relations · town aesthetic and economic health strengthens “sence of place” for current and future students/staff/faculty

Town of Middlebury · affordable, prime, retail space · town "mall" (in classic sense) · momentum starter for riverfront development · bring more student money to downtown · attractive to tourists · particularly strengthens existing Battell Block businesses · connection to community initiatives (e.g. Famer’s Market, Town Hall Theater)

Synergy · Farmer’s Market · Town Hall Theater · Teen Center · Arts Connect · Student Groups

P.O. BOX 933, MIDDLEBURY, VERMONT 05753 · (802) 989-0895 · BUILDERSTUDIOVT.COM

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Background

Colin Davis: After graduating from Middlebury College in 2003 with a B.A. in geography and pre-architecture, Colin Davis continued to study building and design as a carpenter and as an apprentice to adjunct architecture professor Parker Croft. He has experience in modern construction techniques as well as traditional practices such as timber framing, plastering, and masonry work. He has been involved in the restoration of several barns and buildings throughout Vermont as well as independent design projects for small residences and a community center in Khadoor Sahib, India, for the Bawa Development Study. He also served concurrently as the executive director of non-profit WR3A, and vice president for Good Point Recycling in Middlebury, both electronics recycling organizations. Colin is now the owner of Builder Studio, a small design/build firm in Middlebury, Vermont.

The Proposal: As a small business owner and renter in Middlebury, I have been very aware of spaces downtown and have noticed the following: 1) there is very little, if any, small retail space for start-ups, or business that just don’t need that much space; 2) there is no public indoor space downtown (the Grill is the closest thing we have); 3) the waterfront is underutilized in both a commercial and aesthetic sense; 4) any college activity downtown in a business-sense has the potential for controversy. This proposal speaks to all four of these points. The benefits of creating an indoor plaza and outdoor space (deck) in the Battell Block are bigger than the sum of its parts. Not only will it create affordable retail spaces downtown, the increased activity and activity-density will float all other boats in the area., activating the riverfront, town green, and other businesses. The willingness of Belladonna to vacate their space and become an anchor business upstairs would allow this proposal to hit the ground running. Belladonna is successful, aesthetically appealing, recieves a lot of traffic, and would serve to attract other businesses to fill the smaller, lofted spaces. This is a win-win. The college is creating a great resource for its students, stimulating the downtown economy, and providing a framework for continued town-gown collaboration.

P.O. BOX 933, MIDDLEBURY, VERMONT 05753 · (802) 989-0895 · BUILDERSTUDIOVT.COM

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Looking East: food and café to the left, a loft that would house two small retail shops, open space in the foreground (right) would be flexible, while Belladonna would occupy the large retail space to the back right. Door visible in sketch (back wall) leads to deck.

P.O. BOX 933, MIDDLEBURY, VERMONT 05753 · (802) 989-0895 · BUILDERSTUDIOVT.COM

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BUILDER STUDIO

Looking North: a full view of the loft (vacant in this rendering), stand-up eating, and café along the north wall

P.O. BOX 933, MIDDLEBURY, VERMONT 05753 · (802) 989-0895 · BUILDERSTUDIOVT.COM

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Looking South: the space Belladonna would occupy—a four foot wall with minimal wrought iron fencing extending to six feet would allow the business’ colorful wares and flowers to liven up the rest of the space, while providing security for after-hours events.

P.O. BOX 933, MIDDLEBURY, VERMONT 05753 · (802) 989-0895 · BUILDERSTUDIOVT.COM

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