BBA Comments on Bank & Cherry Street Designs

In April, the City of Burlington unveiled its designs for upgrades to Bank and Cherry Streets. These plans present a tremendous opportunity to enhance the quality of these two busy downtown streets.

We understand and have heard from our members that even amongst our group there exists a range of sometimes competing interests as it relates to the redevelopment of Bank and Cherry Streets. Generally, our group is unified in our support of downtown revitalization and streetscape projects which meet the following goals:

  • Increase downtown vibrancy, especially on side streets and the waterfront
  • Improve the downtown experience for visitors, residents, employees, and community members
  • Connect downtown with the waterfront
  • Well position our downtown as a leading 21st Century City

It is our hope that the City’s final plan will find creative ways to meet the needs of both bicycles and pedestrians while maintaining on-street parking to the fullest extent possible. PlanBTV Downtown and Waterfront, as well as, Burlington’s Bike Walk Masterplan provide a directives that can ensure that upgrades meet these goals.

Our business community is united in calling out the need for improvement in the condition of sidewalks, the green strip and streets downtown including Cherry and Bank. We understand the importance of a walkable, livable downtown and appreciate the City of Burlington’s efforts to move us forward in that direction. The proposed plans generally support more vibrant sidestreets.

In addition the BBA has a number of recommendations for the design:

  • Inclusion of Parklets: we assert than any proposed parklets must be managed and maintained by either abutting businesses or a future downtown improvement district to be successful as public spaces
  • Parklets are not needed so close to Church Street as that street provides a large number of such amenities.
    • A parklet and reduced turning radius needs to eliminated at the loading zone entrance for CVS on Cherry Street.
  • Any seating features should adhere to the City’s current policy on public seating and benches. Seating and respite areas should have clear site lines for safety and security reasons.
  • Parking Kiosks: BBA has reached out to the Department of Public Works to discuss the use of kiosks for downtown on-street parking. We ask that the City accept additional comment from BBA and DPW jointly on this feature and allow time for us to meet and review this feature in context of the Downtown Parking & Transportation Management Plan adopted by City Council in December of 2015
  • Bicycle Parking: while we support additional bicycle parking, we ask that any decision on location take into consideration the recommendations on locations for additional bike parking in downtown submitted to DPW as a part of the Downtown Parking and Transportation Management Plan
  • Recycling/Trash Receptacles: these are a welcome addition to the location. As many as is manageable should be included in these areas
  • Street Lighting: new street lighting should have a consistent design with existing street lighting. It should also accommodate decorative lighting with working outlets and street banners
  • Bus Traffic Patterns: the plan should include eliminating any bus routes which include navigation over Church Street to improve pedestrian safety and quality of experience
  • Loading Zones and other speciality purpose parking spaces should be configured to allow for public parking in the evenings and overnight.

The BBA will continue to monitor this process and look continue to work the City and stakeholders to ensure that the final product best meets the needs of local businesses.

Cocktails & Connections May 3rd – LOCATION UPDATE

The BBA will be hosting their Cocktails & Connections Networking Event at The Cellar at EB Strong’s on May 3rd from 5-7pm. Entrance is at 2 Church Street, near Top of the Block Sandwich Shoppe & Old Time Photo. Bringing everyone from young college graduates to seasoned business professionals into one room, networking events like these are just one way the BBA brings the local business community together.

The event will take place in Halvorson’s back patio space. A cash bar will be available, and complimentary light hors d’oeuvres will be served. Tickets are $20, BBA members are eligible for a discounted ticket price of $8. While pre-registration online is encouraged, tickets will also be available for purchase at the door.

Register Here

 

Join Us: DID Focus Groups May 1st & 2nd

For the past several years, the Burlington Business Association has been working in partnership with the City of Burlington to determine how Downtown Improvement District (DID) funds can best serve the needs of our downtown businesses and now we need your input.

To help the business community explore the best ways to use these DID funds, we’ve hired a consulting firm, Progressive Urban Management Associates (PUMA). Representatives from PUMA will visit Burlington on May 1st & 2nd and will be hosting focus groups to hear from key stakeholders in the downtown.

We also ask that you take a brief survey on your experience in downtown Burlington. This is open to both residents and visitors to help us get a better idea of what people enjoy about our downtown and what needs improvement. At the end of the survey you can enter to win gift certificate to Burlington restaurant.

Downtown Burlington Survey

The goal of these meetings is for our consultant to hear directly from Burlington business people to learn about what services a Burlington DID could offer that would be most beneficial to our local business community. These services could cover a wide range of areas including tourism promotion, waste management, events, and security. Downtown stakeholder input is crucial to planning the future of Burlington’s DID.

In an attempt to help as many people take part as possible, we have scheduled five separate meeting times. We have created a Google Form and ask that you check off all the potential times that you could attend. All meetings will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn on Main Street in downtown.

SIGN UP TO PARTICIPATE

The Meeting Times Are:

  • Tuesday May 1, 1:30-3:00PM
  • Tuesday May 1, 5:00-6:30PM
  • Wednesday May 2, 8:00-9:30AM
  • Wednesday May 2, 10:00-11:30AM
  • Wednesday May 2, 5:00-6:30PM

We need your help! It’s important PUMA has the opportunity to hear from as many stakeholders as they can while they complete their research here in Burlington.

Spring Downtown Cleanup Event May 11th

The Burlington Business Association is inviting downtown businesses to sign up and participate in the May 11th Downtown Cleanup event!

Winter leaves its mark on our streets, sidewalks, and public spaces. That’s why the BBA’s Downtown Action Group is coming together to clean our streets as we say goodbye to winter.

Join us May 11th, 8:30 – 9:30 am for our Spring Clean Up event! 

BBA Members and community partners are invited to participate in a group clean up effort on Main Street. Meet at the corner of Church & Main (on the City Hall Park side) bring brooms. Trash bags and disposable gloves will be provided. We’ll work our way from Main and Church down to S. Winooski, then back up to St. Paul Street.

As an extra perk, participants will receive a special Car Share Vermont promo!

Sign up today, then join us the morning of Friday, May 11 for a downtown cleanup day!

Signup Here

BBA Hosts 40th Annual Dinner & Awards

Last week’s BBA Dinner & Awards was a  ‘Night of Enchantment” at the Hilton BurlingtonThis year’s event celebrated 40 years of the Burlington Business Association’s contributions to our city’s economic vitality. More importantly the dinner was an opportunity to recognize a very deserving group of local businesses and people.

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Honored with the Tim Halvorson, the Business person the year award winner was Tom Leavitt of Northfield Savings Bank.  A native of Burlington, Tom’s career includes not only being a successful businessperson, but a contributor to the Burlington community. Tom was introduced by the award’s namesake, Tim Halvorson, who once again had the crowd roaring with laughter during his remarks.

Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman was honored as Business of the Year for its decades of history, service and community engagement. The award was accepted by Brian Boardman and BBA Board Member Leslee MacKenzie.  

For architectural excellence, we recognized City Market for its ambitious construction of their new Flynn Avenue location in the South End. The project is the largest expansion yet for the Burlington born co-op. The cutting edge design from Freeman, French & Freeman Architects provides functionality while meeting City Market’s principles of environmental sustainability.

Lastly, this year’s dinner included a special recognition for the late Antonio Pomerleau, a legendary businessman and philanthropist whose career spanned over 70 years in local real estate.  His charitable contributions can be found throughout the city, including the Pomerleau Family YMCA and the Burlington Police Department’s station at one North Ave.

On hand to introduce this years group of honorees was Mayor Weinberger and Governor Scott, both of whom addressed the packed house inside the Hilton’s Adirondack Ballroom.

This year’s “Night of Enchantment”, combined a cirque du soleil theme with a masquerade to give our guests an unforgettable night. The event included surprise performances from professional hoop and silk performers who entertained the crowd with a unique show to match the ambitious decorations. The event is planned and executed annually by BBA’s phenomenal Dinner Committee, made up of volunteer members who dedicate significant time and energy to the event. 

As part of 2018 Dinner and Awards the BBA held a raffle, with support from Perrywinkle’s Fine Jewelry and WCAX, to support the Howard Center’s Street Outreach Team. The grand prize was a Rolex watch package valued at over $8000.

The BBA would like to thank everyone who made this year’s event possible, including our presenting sponsor, People’s United Bank, our dinner sponsors, the Hilton Burlington, our volunteers and our guests for helping to make the dinner such a wonderful event.

BBA Announces Rolex Raffle To Benefit Street Outreach Team

2018 ANNUAL DINNER ROLEX RAFFLE

The BBA is raffling off a Rolex watch, generously donated by Perrywinkle’s Fine Jewelry! A portion of the proceeds from this raffle will go to the Howard Center Street Outreach Team.

Rolex Watch & Watch Winder Package – The aesthetics of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual models set them apart as symbols of universal and classic style. 36mm Oyster Perpetual with Oyster bracelet, fluted bezel and black Arabic numerals with concentric circles dial.

Total Est. Value $8,150

Only 100 tickets are available. The winning raffle ticket will be drawn at the

BBA Annual Dinner on Thursday April 5th, 2018. You do not need to be present to win.

 


The Howard Center Street Team assists those with mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, and unmet social service needs and coordinates services for those individuals. The primary goal of the team is to increase access to services for all individuals. The secondary goal is to address concerning behaviors that necessitate immediate intervention but do not rise to the level of an emergency response.

The Burlington Business Association (BBA) is a private membership organization that advocates on behalf of the Burlington area business community. Our alliance of more than 250 diverse businesses share the goal of stewarding and promoting the economic vitality of Burlington.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS

 

The 2018 BBA Award Winners Are Announced

Burlington, VT- The Burlington Business Association (BBA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 BBA Awards. These awards honor the innovative business practices, individual contributions, and architectural achievements of Burlington’s business community.  On April 5th at the BBA Annual Dinner and Meeting, we will honor their contribution to Burlington.

The 2018 Business of the Year Award will go to Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty, a locally owned company affiliated with one of the most nationally recognized names in real estate, ColdwellBanker. The CBHB agency has set the bar for marketing Vermont properties, as illustrated by their consistent ranking as the #1 Coldwell Banker Office in Vermont and as one of the top 50 Coldwell Banker companies nationwide. With 71 Licensed Sales Associates, and 16 Staff, Hickok & Boardman’s real estate agency offers a wealth of skills, including the area’s only dedicated relocation department to assist small and large businesses with recruitment support for job candidates.

 

Coldwell Banker Hickok and Boardman is proud to have a majority female leadership team, with five women, including owner and president, Leslee MacKenzie. Leslee MacKenzie has been recognized for her extraordinary leadership on the local and national level.  Leslee is actively engaged in issues impacting our city and surrounding counties from affordable housing, health care, k-12 education, the Burlington Business Association, and Vermont Futures project.

In conjunction with the firm’s growth and commitment to providing extraordinary service to their clients, their dedication to our local community is unwavering. The associates and staff of Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty give in terms of time, volunteering over 5,000 hours a year, and donating money to nearly 100 nonprofits and organizations. With roots that stretch back to the 19th century, Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty maintains a historic connection to the Lake Champlain region and celebrates their 60th anniversary in 2018.

 

 

For the Tim Halvorson Award for Business Person of the Year, we are excited to honor Thomas Leavitt, CEO and President of Northfield Savings.  He serves on the Boards of Norwich University Applied Research Institutes, Vermont Housing Finance Agency, ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, andthe Flynn Center. He is an active member of the Vermont Financial Literacy Commission. After graduating from Burlington High School, Leavitt earned a BS from the University of New Hampshire, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. A native of Burlington, Leavitt returned to Vermont to raise his family and eventually become President of Northfield Savings Bank. The bank holds a special place in our downtown business community, and regularly demonstrates its commitment to Burlington by sponsoring local events, such as Discover Jazz and First Night, and supporting the work of local non-profits.

 

 

The 2018 Architectural Excellence Award in Honor of Hertzel N.Pasackow will go to City Market’s South End store, which opened to citywide anticipation in November. The new store is the greatest undertaking by City Market since it opened the Downtown store in 2002. City Market partnered with Freeman French Freeman, DEW Construction Corp, VHB, Stone Environmental, Pomerleau Real Estate and many others to open their South End store on Flynn Avenue this fall. The Co-op is built on a remediated brownfield site, and includes a deli, café, a community room and the Community Teaching Kitchen. Outside, customers will find a natural play area for kids and a rain garden to assist with run-off. The South End property is environmentally sustainable in a number of different ways. The store is the first in Vermont to use a transcritical CO2 refrigeration system, which are more efficient than commonly used systems and have a much lower global warming potential. In addition, the Co-op placed solar tubes throughout the store and uses LED lighting with an intelligent lighting system. The Brownfield remediation work included asbestos abatement, on-site stormwater treatment, and asphalt and concrete as remedial soil barriers. Because of this work, City Market received the 2017 Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

The BBA will also be extending a special recognition to celebrate the life of Antonio B. Pomerlau, one of Burlington’s most iconic businessmen and philanthropists. Aside from his legendary business career, Mr. Pomerleau’s (known affectionately in Burlington as “Mr. P”) contributions to the YMCA, the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center, St. Michael’s College, the Burlington Boys and Girls Club, and the Burlington Police Department have had a significant impact on the economic vitality of  Burlington. Tony passed away in his home on February 8th, 2018 at the age of 100.

Each of these winners stands as an example of the individuals and organizations that drive Burlington’s economic vitality.

“It is our honor and pleasure each year to recognize our award winners. We have a deeply committed business community. Each day Burlington’s businesses take risks, celebrate small and large successes, and invest in the future of Burlington” said Kelly Devine, Executive Director of the BBA. “The belief in a strong future for Burlington is at the core of the BBA, and our award winners reflect that belief in the work they do each day to make our city such a great place to live, work and play. I look forward to celebrating them on April 5th.”

“The Annual Dinner is our favorite event of the the year and it all comes together with the presentation of the awards. These winners are the proof that the individual commitments and contributions of our businesses add up to the energy and vibrancy that defines our city” said BBA’s Board Chair, Russ Scully.  

The BBA Annual Dinner and Awards will take place at the Hilton Burlington on Thursday, April 5th from 5-9 pm. Tickets are available for purchase at www.bbavt.org. The BBA Annual Awards is presented by People’s United Bank. 

The Burlington Business Association, founded in 1978, is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization with over 250 business and non-profit members. Our mission is to enhance and promote the economic vitality of Burlington, Vermont, and to assure that the City of Burlington continues as the cultural, social, political, educational and economic center of northwestern Vermont.

Forum Showcases Mayoral Candidates

On Thursday February 15, the Burlington Business Association (BBA)  in cooperation with AARP Vermont, Vermont Digger, and Local Motion hosted the 2018 Mayoral Candidate Forum at the waterfront’s Echo Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. The open-door event featuring Mayor Miro Weinberger, Carina Driscoll and Infinite Culcleasure, gave Burlington residents and the local business community the chance to hear from candidates in preparation for the election on March 6th.

The Future of HOUSING

Perhaps the most heavily debated topic was the cost of housing. Mayor Weinberger made the case that his administration had made “unprecedented progress against Burlington’s housing shortage with units being built at four times the historic rate”. He also directly called out his opponents who he said would take Burlington back to policies that created the affordable housing crisis.

Driscoll pushed back, arguing that the current administration was putting too much focus on building market rate and student housing downtown. She called for a pause on the development of market rate housing following the construction of Cityplace Burlington and Cambrian Rise.

Infinite Culcleasure took time to make the case for imposing rent controls to protect against the rising cost of housing. He also questioned whether the City’s current definition of affordable housing really reflected the needs of its most vulnerable residents.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT and the Efficacy of CEDO Debated

Another area of discussion was economic development, where Driscoll and Culcleasure called on current leadership to do more to incent and support small businesses. The Mayor highlighted his administration’s work to meet the specific needs of Burlington companies like Dealer.com in the South End. Weinberger also touted his efforts to partner with community stakeholders in the creation of the Generator Makerspace.

Candidates Highlight Differences on WATERFRONT

Other points of contention included waterfront development. Driscoll criticized Weinberger over his handling of the Moran Plant redevelopment as well as his support for a new private marina on the waterfront.

Mayor Weinberger responded by highlighting his administration’s work on upgrades to the northern waterfront and bike path. He also mentioned the significant public input that went in to decisions regarding waterfront improvements.

Candidates also sparred during their closing remarks. Driscoll called for a pivot that she argued would increase progress for all. Mayor Weinberger highlighted the success during his six years in office and cautioned against Burlington going backwards under Driscoll’s leadership. Meanwhile Infinite Culcleasure talked about his experience as an organizer, while pointing out his opponents were interested in running Burlington too much like a business.

For those who missed it, the forum is available for viewing on Channel 17. Early voting has already begun at City Hall. Voters can cast their ballot during regular business hours.

40th Annual BBA Dinner

This year will mark the 40th anniversary for the Burlington Business Association Annual Dinner and Awards! The event will be held on Thursday, April 5th at the Hilton Burlington. The BBA Dinner is special night to  a celebrate Burlington’s business community, culminating with the presentation of the BBA awards.

 

These awards honor the innovative business practices, individual contributions, and architectural achievements of Burlington’s businesses. Last year we honored Seventh Generation for Business of the Year, David Provost as the winner of the Tim Halvorson Award for Business Person of the Year, and Select for our Architectural Excellence Award, as well as a special recognition for the Vermont Air National Guard.  Each of these winners stands as an example of the businesses and organizations that drive Burlington’s economic vitality.  On April 5th, a new round of winners will share this recognition.

 

The BBA Annual Dinner has a long history of exciting themes that help shape the event, such as Roaring 20’s, A Hollywood Awards Show, and “Our City, Our Lake”, to name a few. This year’s theme has yet to be revealed, but what you can expect is a sumptuous evening filled with enchantment; complete with a cocktail party, a live auction with unique and desirable prizes, a wine and spirits pull, and delicious dinner.  We have plenty of surprises up our sleeve, and this event sells out every year- don’t miss out!

 

Registration is now open. Follow the link below to reserve your spot.

REGISTER NOW

 

BBA Summit Examines the Future of BTV Transporation

The 15th Annual BBA Business Summit brought together industry experts, community leaders, and interested business owners and residents for an in-depth discussion of what transportation innovation will mean for Burlington.

Keynote speaker Jeff  Olson of Alta Planning and Design called on the nearly 100 attendees at the offices of VEIC, to consider the ways in which building infrastructure that supports active mobility can improve the overall quality of life in a community.

Mayor Miro Weinberger also spoke at the event, reiterating his commitment to expanding transportation across a variety of different modes. As well as focusing on supporting options that are in line with Burlington’s community values.

BBA Executive Director Kelly Devine made the case for a robust transportation plan that goes beyond simply providing parking and to look forward to how Burlington can best meet technological changes in transportation.

“I’ve asked all of you to come here today, to discuss a topic I think is a critical piece of being able to grow the Burlington economy.” said Devine, who asked the group to think about what the future of Burlington will look like from a transportation perspective.

Following the speaker presentations, attendees broke into groups to discuss some the beliefs and perceptions of transportation, and solutions to help overcome some of the challenges. This was followed by a panel discussion, featuring Kelly Devine and Jeff Olson, as well as Jim Barr of the UVM Transportation & Parking Services and Charlie Baker of Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission.

To cap off the day, a community dialogue was held at Citizen Cider on Pine Street, where attendees were able to meet with Keynote Speaker Jeff Olson, as well as hear from Hotel Vermont General Manager, Hans Van Wees, and Seventh Generation Manager of Mission Impact, Christopher Lyon about what active transportation has meant for their businesses.

Thank you to everyone who attended on Thursday, as well as our speakers and our many sponsors. The video footage can be watched at www.cctv.org and at youtube via the link below thanks to our media partner, Channel 17.