Construction sounds fill the old Aldrich building in Barre. Mayor Thom Lauzon owns the building and is restoring it to bring businesses back to this part of Main Street.
"To finally get it to this point feels great, it's been a long time coming," Lauzon said.
A restaurant moved into the first floor in October. The second floor will be office space; a law firm is planning to move in. And the third floor will be two apartments, already one tenant is lined up.
Mayor Thom Lauzon: I think this is what we should be doing in downtowns-- rebuilding.
Reporter Kristin Carlson: What do you think it will mean for the downtown to have this building back?
Mayor Thom Lauzon: Well, it's-- no pun intended-- the cornerstone of our downtown. I mean, it's a prominent building in terms of location and it's what you see when you first come into Barre. It defines our downtown.
A downtown landmark that was almost destroyed. Three years ago on Memorial Day Weekend, two teens torched the building. The arson was heartbreaking for many-- a setback to a city hoping for a comeback. Lauzon was not sure the building could be saved, but decided it was worth it. He says the complete gut and renovation will cost $3 million.
"Life threw us a little curveball and we didn't quit," Lauzon said. "We are from Barre-- we don't quit. And I couldn't be happier with the way the project is coming out."
And everyone will soon get to see how it all comes out; the building is set to open in May.
Lauzon says he hopes the renovation of the Aldrich building will help attract other businesses downtown.
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