Pomerleau Real Estate is proud to be an active contributor to our community. We take our role as a community partner seriously and strive to enhance the towns and villages in which we do business.
January 2017 Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce have announced Pomerleau Real Estate as one of the 45 Best Places to Work in Vermont. Setting the precedence amongst companies employing between 15 and 149 employees, Pomerleau is proud to be named one of the 2017 award winners and to be honored amongst such strong companies.
Ferrisburg Solar Farm
Montpelier, VT - May 28, 2015 Solar projects in communities throughout Vermont will be open for public tours the third Saturday in June. “Celebrate Solar Tours” will take place across the state on Saturday, June 20, the weekend of the Summer Solstice. Like open sugarhouse weekend in the spring and open art studio weekend in the fall, the summertime tours will give Vermonters the opportunity to get an up-close view of solar systems to learn about the technology, solar economics, and the benefits of solar to our community.
Solar customers, host farmers, and owners alike will be on-hand to speak with the public – with many of the sites offering fun events, also. Among the solar sites open to tour June 20: iconic and sweet Vermont attractions like Cold Hollow Cider and Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, high-tech attractions like Draker and Small Dog Electronics, agricultural farms like Champlain Orchards, multi-customer shared community solar arrays, and some of Vermont’s highest producing solar farms.
“Folks know us and visit us for our cider and donuts. But we are thrilled to open up the field behind our cidery to share the benefits of solar technology to our business and our community. We’ll of course also be serving up some sweet treats for those who come by,” said Paul Brown, owner of Cold Hollow Cider in Waterbury Center, which has a 150kW system powering its operations. More than 40 systems are anticipated to participate in the day and a growing statewide map can be found here.
Many participating sites will host refreshments, music, or other entertainment. Other planned solar events include community walking tours of residential solar installations, miniature golf and on-site yoga. “One of the immeasurable values of living in Vermont is the strength of our communities. We now have an opportunity to work together to repower Vermont through shared, group solar arrays, like the one in my backyard,” said Evergreen Erb of Jericho. The grassroots event is supported by Renewable Energy Vermont, with new sites being added throughout June.
Renewable Energy Vermont
Tony Pomerleau and Mike Comeau
Johnson, VT – The award was given in recognition of renovations to our plaza and the creation of a beautiful new supermarket in downtown Johnson, VT. We shared the designation with our new anchor tenant, Mike Comeau, owner of the independent Johnson’s Sterling Market. The Executive Director of the LCPC had this to say about the project:
"Johnson’s Sterling Market is a tribute to a committed partnership that resulted in reopening an anchor business in downtown Johnson. Through the partnership, Pomerleau and Mike Comeau created a regional asset that provides its neighbors with the convenience, quality and grocery selection so greatly needed in Lamoille County’s rural communities. The store’s location in Johnson’s village center supported the community’s efforts to maintain its vibrancy and reinforce its sense of place. Its layout and design create a warm and attractive shopping environment with inviting community ambience."
Juan De La Cruz of De La Cruz Farm
"Ferrisburgh Solar Farm was a pioneer when it built the first utility-scale solar plant in Vermont. It is again leading the way, showing how solar and sheep can work together to support local agriculture and our working landscape."
Leigh Seddon, solar designer
Founder, Solar Works, Inc.
Ferrisburgh, VT – In May of 2014, Pomerleau Real Estate welcomed some exceptionally cute tenants to one of our developments - a flock of sheep to graze among the 3,806 solar panels of the Ferrisburgh Solar Farm! The sheep belong to Juan and Kirsten De La Cruz, owners of De La Cruz Farm, and there are 4 varieties in the flock: Suffolk, Dorper, Katahdin and Dorset.
From the moment we went on-line in 2010 (as the state’s first 1-Megawatt PV installation), the Ferrisburgh Solar Farm has been both a showcase and an educational resource for sustainable energy development in Vermont. Located just off Route 7 and adjacent to Vergennes Union High School, the solar farm features an open-to-the-public educational kiosk and solar panel display. We also maintain a public website where on-line visitors can view real-time and historic solar energy production, current weather, and total emissions avoided to date. (For example, over 6,500,000 pounds of carbon dioxide as of the summer of 2014; enough to offset the hazardous emissions of 25,000,000 car miles!)
The Ferrisburgh Solar Farm was designed to have minimal impact on the agricultural soils on which it sits. The support structures used driven steel piles that required no site grading or concrete footings. This ensured undisturbed land which can return to its natural state at the end of the array’s operating life.
During our design and installation phases, we were dedicated to using only local consultants and contractors to build the project. We supported job growth and the Vermont economy during the recession by hiring more than 10 Vermont businesses. We are once again so happy to support a local business. This time by welcoming real farmers to our solar farm!
America’s first small market Panera Bread opened at 1450 Barre-Montpelier Road on May 21, 2013
Berlin, VT – Panera Bread opened its first ever “Small Market Test” location in Berlin, Vermont thanks to a collaborative effort spearheaded by Pomerleau Real Estate.
As Panera’s representative in Vermont, Pomerleau partnered with the town of Berlin, state officials and neighboring property owners to bring the bakery-café style restaurant to Central Vermont.
Ernie Pomerleau says he is proud that Pomerleau Real Estate is able to partner with the community of Berlin to assist in the renewal of central Vermont after flooding affected the area in 2011.
“With the addition of Panera Bread, Jo-Ann Fabrics and a new Bouchard-Pierce store, we are hoping to stimulate an economic rebound in a community that was severely impacted by the 2011 flooding,” says Pomerleau. “Without the outstanding collaborative effort that took place, this healthy fast food option would not be available to the people living in this small town. We couldn’t have done it without our partners in the state and the Town of Berlin helping to make this project a reality.”
The population of Berlin is approximately 2,900, making it about half the size of Panera’s preferred market. The company only approved three small market projects in the entire United States, and Berlin’s is the first to open.
There are three other Panera locations in Vermont: on Church Street in Burlington (population 42,600), on Shelburne Road in South Burlington (population 18,000) and on South Main street in Rutland (population 16,500).
The Berlin Panera will employ approximately 30 people.
Panera Bread was awarded the title of “Healthiest Fast Food Restaurant” by Health Magazine in 2009 for its variety of healthy menu items, whole grain breads and half-size options. Trained bakers craft and bake each loaf of bread from scratch using the best ingredients every day, at every location.
Johnson, VT – The Johnson Sterling Market will open with a public ceremony to celebrate the renaissance of the new downtown supermarket on October 3, 2013 at 11:00 am. The town has been without a grocery store for over two years.
The space in the Pomerleau Real Estate-owned shopping center at 131 Lower Main Street West will again be occupied by a grocery store because of a collaborative effort between state, local officials, agencies, owner Mike Comeau and the Pomerleau team.
Comeau also owns Richmond Market and Beverage and the Village Market of Waterbury. An estimated 40 jobs will be created at this location, 15 of them full-time.
At a lease-signing ceremony in May, Governor Shumlin spoke to the incredible collaborative effort put forth by everyone involved, and how the “Vermont Strong” mentality was at the heart of this project. “This is yet another example of how we as Vermonters stick together and ensure that our community stays strong. You can’t have a strong community if you can’t buy food...that’s what this celebration is all about.” Seeing this project come full circle, Governor Shumlin will be onsite to celebrate this wonderful cooperative effort on October 3rd.
Ernie Pomerleau says he and his team were philosophically driven to making sure Johnson had a grocery store, and that this is a classic example of a successful public/private partnership. “A supermarket is at the heart of a community...it galvanizes the preservation of a community, it galvanizes the community economically and socially.”
Funding for the start-up costs comes from multiple sources, including the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the Vermont Economic Development Agency, the Village of Johnson’s revolving loan fund, the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation, People’s United Bank, Pomerleau Real Estate and the Associated Grocers of New England.
Comeau specializes in small market areas and says he is committed to each of the communities in which he operates grocery stores.
“My business plan is simple...first and foremost: I want to be part of the community. We’re going to stock the store with fresh, healthy, unique, local and staple items, at fair prices, and we’re going to offer the best customer service we can,” says Comeau.
Milton, VT – The Milton Artists’ Guild and Pomerleau Real Estate unveiled a new art park called The Park at Milton Square in a ceremony on September 26th.
President of Pomerleau Real Estate Ernie Pomerleau, artists Gisela Alpert and Amy Cook, and Milton Selectboard Chair Darren Adams made remarks.
Pomerleau issued a Call to Artists to the Milton Artists' Guild for ideas for a park. He said this monument is a great symbol of Milton’s community spirit, and a testament to the local artists and town leaders. “Art galvanizes a community. We are very much appreciative of the energy and the effort that was put forth by the town, the artists, and the community of Milton, who all contributed to this wonderful project.”
Local artists Gisela Alpert of Lionheart Art and Amy Cook of Amicus Studio designed the art park and pedestrian walkway in the Pomerleau-owned shopping center at Milton Square. The monument, designed by Alpert, depicts the Milton landscape with elements representing Arrowhead Mountain and Cobble Hill, the waters of Lake Champlain and the Lamoille River.
“As I worked on this design, I envisioned visitors standing in between the monoliths, or should I say the two mountains, and feeling the strength, the power and the awe of such grand mass...this strength equates to the bond and unity of our community. I welcome you to enjoy this meaningful and powerful space,” said Alpert.
The park is connected to the entrance of the brand new 47,000 sq. ft. Hannaford grocery store by a pedestrian avenue designed by Cook. The path is lined with a series of ten torii gates, adding a vertical element that extends and enhances the park experience.
Cook jokingly remarked that the walkway was, to some, “just a sidewalk in a grocery store parking lot.” But a plaque on one of the gates reveals a deeper meaning – it reads: “The Japanese torii gate, which marks the transition from one state of being to another, provides the inspiration for this pedestrian avenue. Like us, the gates are solitary structures yet connected by something unseen.”
Selectboard Chair Darren Adams thanked Pomerleau Real Estate for committing to this project, and to the town of Milton. “A town is more than brick and mortar, and [Pomerleau Real Estate] understands that. This is more than just a place to get groceries – this is part of what makes a town a community. This is an important symbol that our town is moving forward. Thank you for standing up and helping to make Milton a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”
The creation of the park coincides with Milton’s celebration of its 250th anniversary and the addition of new town signage that also features the Lamoille Valley landscape.
Milton, VT – Pomerleau Real Estate would like to congratulate the Town of Milton on the opening of a new 47,000 square-foot Hannaford Supermarket in the shopping plaza at Milton Square.
The new, top of the line supermarket has one and a half times the space of the previous store, allowing for a larger bakery and expanded seafood, organic and frozen food sections. The frozen section has motion sensing LED lights, which help to lower operating costs and drive down food prices.
The store also offers improved convenience, with expanded hours, a larger health and beauty section, and grab-and-go options including sushi and hot wings.
“This is a big step up from what was there previously,” says Ernie Pomerleau, President of Pomerleau Real Estate. “Milton residents can now make one stop and get everything they need in a clean, convenient and friendly environment. We’re thrilled to have been able to help see this through to fruition and want to congratulate the Town of Milton on the opening of this long-awaited supermarket.”
Pomerleau Real Estate has more plans for the plaza, including sprucing up the expanding Aubuchon Hardware, and installing a Family Dollar next door.
The new Hannaford created 25 new jobs for Milton residents.