After three and a half years of tireless labor, Chris Kannel’s vision has almost been made a reality.
When he had purchased the former First National Bank building located on Montpelier’s Empire Street in November of 2011, each room of the converted apartment complex was run down and depleted, to say the least. It’s taken a great deal of effort, but those same rooms are now gorgeously renovated and ready for renting.
The stained and tattered carpeting has been replaced with wood floors. Dull, depressing walls have had their paint striped, and replaced with fresh brightly white coat. The windows have been replaced. Those who lived in one of the apartments in question before renovations began would be unlikely to recognize them now.
But change seldom comes easily. Hard work and determination are usually requirements for doing so, and this instance was no exception. The first step was to clear out the old apartments. By the time Kannel and his crew had completed this process, they had removed 50.45 tons of debris, filling eight dumpsters.
Overall, the building’s 5,597 square feet, divided between the two floors, houses three apartments and 4 commercial units. Each apartment has its own kitchen, while there are seven bathrooms spread throughout the complex. Forty-three individual rooms total make up the facility.
Of course, there were actually several people involved in the restoration of the living quarters. There is actually a sizable list of businesses that contributed to the project. That list would include, but not be limited to Residential Renovations, Means of Egress, Matt Dye Construction, Craig Siebenaler Construction, Jack Hierholzer Construction, Lockhart Construction, Hammond Masonry, Owen’s Electric, and Masters Woodworking.
A large portion of both time and money have gone into the revival project as well. Kannel has put 742 hours into bringing the apartments back to life. Also, between bank loans, grant money, and “In-Kind” costs, he has put $381,000 down to fix up the rooms.
With inspectors coming in the following week, Kannel unveiled the nearly finished product a bit early with an open house on Saturday, April 18. From the hours of 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., anyone who wished to do so was allowed to wander through the complex, examining each apartment to their heart’s content.
The reviews were rave, as those who attended the event could hardly believe how spectacular everything looked. Adding to their amazement, pictures of what they apartments used to look like were available for viewing via laptops in each of the kitchen areas.
With prospective tenants already lined up to take the apartments, Kannel is hoping to have them rented out by the first of May.
T.J. Hug can be reached at
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