By Greg Elias
The Williston Observer will relocate later this month, making room for the newspaper’s growing staff.
The new address will be 300 Cornerstone Drive, suite 330, in office space above Artists’ Mediums in the Taft Farms Village Center. The shopping center is located about a mile east of Taft Corners off U.S. Route 2.
“We are very excited about the move in that it affords us the opportunity to expand, as we continually strive to make the Observer the premiere source of local news and information for Williston residents,” said co-publisher and managing editor Marianne Apfelbaum. “It was also very important that our new office be easily accessible to the community, and this location near Taft Corners is just that."
Over the past several years, the Observer has added several editorial, advertising sales and administrative employees. Not including publishers Marianne and Paul Apfelbaum and freelance reporters, the newspaper now has 10 full- and part-time workers. The Observer had just two employees when it moved to its current location at 2141 Essex Road in 1998.
Though the Observer needed more space, the move was prompted by the pending sale of the building to Judge Development Corp., which already owned the land where the structure is located. Peter Judge, the South Burlington-based company’s principal, confirmed that he has signed a purchase agreement with the current owner, Yankee Farm Credit. The sale is scheduled to close Jan 10.
Rumors have circulated that the building will be torn down and replaced with a drug store. Williston Town Planner Lee Nellis said he has met with representatives from Judge’s company about plans for a drug store at the site. “We expect to see plans for a drug store there within the foreseeable future,” Nellis said.
Judge, whose company owns the adjacent Taft Corners Shopping Center, said he has not decided what to do with the building. He acknowledged talking with Brooks Pharmacy, but the chain’s proposal could not fit under the town’s zoning rules. He said no agreement would be struck until all tenants move out and the building sale closes.
The building’s other tenants plan moves to other Williston locations. Green Mountain Video and Economic & Policy Resources will also relocate to Taft Farms Village Center. Yankee Farm Credit is moving to Hurricane Lane.
The Observer will move during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The new office will be open starting Jan. 2.