Conceptual plans for a considerable overhaul of the Burlington Town Center mall werereleased recently at a news conference with Mayor Miro Weinberger, Governor Peter Shumlin, BBA Executive Director Kelly Devine, and other officials. At the news conference Devine stated “The Burlington Town Center development will have a lasting, positive effect on the heart of Burlington and the entire community. The project would create expanded parking, new jobs, and additional retail opportunities that would bring significant direct and indirect economic benefits to Burlington.” Several other community organizations voiced their support of the redevelopment, including the Burlington Farmers’ Market, Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce, the Vermont Agency of Transportation and several City Councilors from surrounding Wards, among others.
The plans include three new buildings, about 250 apartments, a hotel capable of hosting 5,000-person conferences, office space, as well as other amenities. Because of the massive potential impact to BBA members, we are inviting members to send feedback to Devine. The project coordinators are emphasizing their focus on transparency throughout the project. The new owner of the BTC, Don Sinex, is working vigilantly with city officials to “engage in a transparent, public process to reach a development agreement that will address public amenities, public infrastructure investment, project scale, and other key elements of the public-private partnership.” At a cost of approximately $200 million, the redevelopment is the largest of its kind in the area and could completely transform the downtown Church Street area as a destination both for shopping and business. The expansion will create over 1,000 new jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue. Devine also stated“The Burlington Business Association looks forward to being part of the dialogue that will help shape this significant project and move it forward.”
Burlington Free Press – Don Sinex, who bought the mall in December 2013, unveiled the conceptual plans Thursday at a news conference with Mayor Miro Weinberger, Gov. Peter Shumlin and other officials.
The approximately $200 million project would include three new buildings, about 250 apartments, a new hotel that could host 5,000-person conferences, office space, a new underground parking garage with 950 parking spaces and a new rooftop park.
“This mall has captured my energy and all my passion,” Sinex said. He said his vision for the property aligns with the city's master planning document for the downtown, PlanBTV.
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Mayor Weinberger and others characterized the current mall as underutilized and obstructive to the city street grid. The redevelopment, he said, would accomplish the vision in PlanBTV.
Vermonters will have the chance to weigh in on the project through a public process, Weinberger and Sinex said.
“What we're doing today is not announcing a plan to develop this,” Sinex said. “What we're announcing is a process.”
The City Council is expected to authorize that public process sometime in December, and Weinberger and Sinex are hoping to have a development agreement within about six months.
The entire project could be completed within three to five years, Sinex said.
Pedestrians would be able to walk through the mall on St. Paul Street and Pine Street, and the project would feature a a protected bike path under the mall, according to a city news release.
The old parking garage would likely be demolished, Sinex said, and replaced with the new underground parking. He said it's possible that he would buy more property to expand the mall's footprint.
The city and state expect more than 1,000 new jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue. Burlington will likely leverage its waterfront tax increment financing (TIF) district to support the redevelopment, Mayor Weinberger said.
This month, L.L. Bean opened its first Vermont store in the mall.