A Vermont business just got a big head-start on an upcoming expansion: a year of free rent.
Dobra Tea already serves food and hot and cold drinks from around the world in its tea room in downtown Burlington.
Next year, it will expand into neighboring Winooski.
“We really want to be here,” Stacey Jolles of Dobra Tea said of Winooski. “We think it’s going to be a great place for us to be.”
The Dagesse Company, the builders of the new City Lights building in downtown Winooski, offered a year of ground-level rent free to a business looking to open or grow. The company said it made the offer in order to support a company through a critical stage, and also to contribute something to help the vibrancy of Winooski.
After sifting through dozens of proposals, the developers said Tuesday they picked Dobra Tea.
“We feel that the first year, having rent free will enable a business to not only thrive but also reinvest in their business so it will be successful,” said developer Jacquie Dagesse.
Dagesse noted when the offer was announced that the tenant will be responsible for paying utility costs.
Dobra Tea said the opportunity will help the business focus on designing and promoting the new location for long-term success, instead of stressing out over making their rent.
“And we’re also really hoping that the diversity of Winooski will appreciate the diversity of Dobra,” said Nina Beck of Dobra. “We serve customers from all over the world with our teas from all over the world, and the comment we always hear is, ‘It feels like home here!’”
City Lights is scheduled to open on Winooski’s East Allen Street in the summer of 2017. It will also house rental apartments.