Essex Jct. residents forced out of old apartment complex - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Essex Jct. residents forced out of old apartment complex

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Some residents in Essex Junction are being forced to move out of their homes to make way for brand new and pricier apartments.

Deborah Quintin has lived in the Green Meadow apartments in Essex Junction for nine years, but now she says she's forced to move.

"I've gotta find something within my means while I'm paying rent and utilities and everything, trying to save up the money to move," said Quintin.

The owners of Green Meadows have decided to demolish the 122 apartments to make room for 300 brand new and more expensive units. Right now a two-bedroom at Green Meadows averages $850 a month; a two-bedroom in the new complex will be around $1,600.

But owner Jeffrey Rubman says these units will have amenities like a pool and gym that people renting in the current market not only want, but will fill a void the housing market currently needs.

"There will be more units than there is now, which the whole market needs. And as you open up units for the whole market, it relieves other units in the market, as well," said Rubman,

The village of Essex Junction agreed with Rubman, giving approval for the construction, but only under certain conditions, like not all of the units would be torn down at once.

"The demolition and the rebuilding would have to be phased and from our mind that gives people who are living there the opportunity to move into the new units," said Robin Pierce, Essex Jct. director of community development.

The construction process will happen in phases. The first begins this summer and will demolish 40 of the current units. Quintin and around 100 other people currently live in those 40 units. Tenants received an eviction notice saying they had 60 days to leave, which is the legal amount of time required, but tenants say that's just not enough.

"To come home on a Friday and have a note like that on your door is like oh my God, devastating," said Quintin.

Both tenants and owners agree that Green Meadow is in desperate need of repair.

"We feel that we need to upgrade them, that their life is coming to an end," said Rubman.

Tenants who are being forced out say most will not be able to afford the new units.

"It's not a matter of what they're doing, they have every right whatsoever to do that. But as human beings, they could have just given us a little more heads up about it," said Quintin.

So the race is on to find low-cost homes that are already in short supply.

The owners of Green Meadows say the new project will not be fully complete for up to three years, but some units will be available by the spring of 2015.

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