- Associated Press - Thursday, July 7, 2016

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) - An investment group is seeking to redevelop a downtown Bennington block, a move it hopes will bolster economic development in the community and across southwestern Vermont.

The Bennington Redevelopment Group has secured a 90-day option to purchase the former Putnam Hotel and five other buildings on the 4-acre parcel. It wants to transform the block of buildings into residential housing, office space and retail.

The group is made up of several community organizations that include the Bank and Bennington and Bennington College.

Bennington County Regional Commission Assistant Director Bill Colvin announced the proposed deal on Tuesday. He says the group anticipates it will take another year or so after the 90-day window to design and develop the project.

Colvin says the project offers a significant economic benefit to the community.

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