Patrick Leahy and Peter Welch Were Hanging Out at WRJ's Newest Building Today. Here's a Sneak Peek of What They Saw.

Congressman Peter Welch (L) and Senator Patrick Leahy

The new building at the corner of Bridge and North Main streets in White River Junction -- known as, you guessed it, Bridge & Main -- got its official sendoff today. A lot of officialdom showed up: U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, U.S. Congressman Peter Welch, seemingly every state official whose office includes the word "housing" in its name, Hartford City Manager Leo Pullar, Hartford selectboard members Simon Dennis and Kim Souza.... In all, about 50 people crowded into a sweltering basement room to hear about the building where JUEL and Little Istanbul will soon open, and where low- and moderate-income tenants have already moved into the floors above.

Valley News business reporter John Lippman interviews Leahy

The months of disruption to that little stretch of White River Junction went unmentioned. What did get a lot of play was what the building represents: new commercial space and 17 units of affordable housing in a market that's growing less affordable by the day. As Leahy said, "White River Junction is a town on the rise," and its housing prices are showing it. "What happens when a theater and new restaurants show up is that people get priced out," said Gus Seelig, executive director of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. "There needs to be room at the inn for all of us."

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Bill Bittinger, the developer behind Bridge & Main, says a few of the apartments are still available. They 're restricted to people with low- or moderate incomes -- think below about $30,000 a year -- and rent for roughly $700 a month when a $106 utility allowance is figured in.

Here's a one-minute tour, thanks to DailyUV's Jennifer Sensenich:

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