Why Essex? Gabe Handy

Interview with Gabe Handy, Developer 

Gabe Handy bought his first Essex Junction property in 1993.  He was impressed to receive a note in the mail from former Village Manager Charles Safford thanking him for choosing to buy property in the Village.  He continued to develop in Essex Junction, focusing his attention on properties on Pearl Street and in the Village Center.  

Fast forward 25 years. Gabe now owns 360 rental units across Essex, Fairfax, St. Albans, and Winooski.  Gabe also owns the Days Inn and Handy Suites in Colchester, and the Baymont Suites on Susie Wilson Road in Essex.  The 60-foot indoor water slide makes Baymont Suites a popular destination for local families during school breaks. 

Gabe sees his business as a family-based enterprise.  His son Shawn manages all of his apartment rentals, daughter Darcy manages all three hotels, and son-in-law Rick is in charge of property maintenance.  He highlighted his close relationship with many of his employees and said that he has even been named godfather for several of their children.  One focal point of his career has been helping to fund the construction of a new Fire & Rescue building in Fairfax.   

Gabe served on the Colchester Planning Commission for fourteen years.  His late wife Diane also served on the Planning Commission before their marriage.  Gabe believes that the knowledge that he gained through his time on the Planning Commission helped to inform his abilities to design a property that will work in well with the community.

Why Essex? “People want to move to Essex.  The schools are good and the location is convenient.  My new buildings are full within two months of opening.”

Have an idea for the weekly(ish) Why Essex? column?  E-mail Darby Mayville at darby@ essexjunction.org.