Broad Coalition of Community Organizations and Local Businesses Announces Support for Burlington Town Center Mall Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 25, 2016
Contact: Kelly Devine
802.863.1175
director@bbavt.org

 

 

Broad Coalition of Community Organizations and Local Businesses
Announces Support for Burlington Town Center Mall Project

 

Burlington, VT – Kelly Devine, Executive Director of the Burlington Business Association, along with representatives from various community organizations, non-profits, and local businesses, today announced support for the proposed redevelopment of the Burlington Town Center Mall. Today’s broad coalition of support shows the numerous benefits of mixed-use downtown infill redevelopment of these two central blocks, including the creation of at least 270 additional housing units at a range of income levels and the re-opening of St. Paul and Pine Streets, again enlivening our shared community space and reconnecting the Old North End with downtown Burlington.

“The redevelopment of the mall site is critical to the future economic vitality of Burlington,” said Devine. “The Burlington Business Association is excited to bring together a growing coalition of supporters of the project. The predevelopment agreement is a testament to the many hours of hard work and important collaboration by the City Council, City Administration, and the project owner.”

Organizations, non-profits, and businesses supportive of the Burlington Town Center Mall redevelopment include:
AARP Vermont
Burlington Business Association
Burton
Champlain College
Champlain Housing Trust
Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission
Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty
Courtyard Marriott and Hotel Vermont
Dealer.com
Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce
Local Motion
Patagonia
Pawprint & Mail
Select
Seventh Generation
SkiRack
The Spot
TruexCullins Vermont Architecture and Interior Design
Turning Point Center
United Way of Northwest Vermont
University of Vermont
University of Vermont Medical Center
Vermont Interfaith Action
Vermont Natural Resources Council
WND & WVS

This list continues to grow. In addition, the Church Street Marketplace has gathered a list of supporters from among Church Street businesses.

Key project elements of the Burlington Town Center Mall redevelopment:

  • Directly result in more than 500 construction jobs and more than 900 permanent jobs in a range of retail and office operations, including 350-400 UVM Medical Center jobs to be housed in the rebuilt mall;
  • Create at least 270 new homes across a range of income levels, including 54 units that will be permanently affordable under the City’s Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, as well as 110 units of Champlain College student housing to provide options for students outside of Burlington’s historic family neighborhoods;
  • Re-establish St. Paul Street and Pine Street as full City thoroughfares, restoring connectivity and vibrancy between downtown Burlington and the Old North End neighborhood, which positively impacts those who walk, bike, and drive in these corridors of the City;
  • The mall redevelopment is a product of the incredible planBTV Downtown & Waterfront public engagement process, during which thousands of Burlingtonians participated and was adopted by the City Council in 2013; and
  • The mall property owner will pay livable wages to all construction workers and strengthen local workforce opportunities in Burlington.

 

“We are happy to keep our close connection to Burlington and to strengthen its downtown with 350-400 highly-skilled administrative employees,” said Dr. John Brumsted, Chief Executive Officer of the UVM Medical Center.  “We expect the BTC site will provide cost-effective and efficient space for us in a newly-vibrant downtown location. We are very pleased to be right here in Burlington.”  

“Champlain Housing Trust has been a supporter of the City’s Housing Action Plan, and today we stand here in support of the Burlington Town Center Mall redevelopment project because we see housing in action,” said Brenda Torpy, Chief Executive Officer of Champlain Housing Trust. 

“AARP Vermont is most excited about the commitment to universal design principles allowing for greater accessibility, enabling older adults to age in place and allowing people with disabilities to remain involved in family and community life, said Greg Marchildon, State Director for AARP Vermont. “Rather than being geared solely to older adults and people with disabilities, universal design features are intended to have general utility and market appeal for all ages.” 

"We are encouraged to see that public input is being incorporated into the evolving design for the Burlington Town Center Mall, "said Emily Boedecker, Executive Director of Local Motion. "Reconnecting both Pine Street and St. Paul Street will bring more foot and bike traffic to the mall and to adjoining streets and businesses, and with a commitment to incorporate state of the art bike commuting facilities the redevelopment will be both an attraction and a destination for people on bikes."

"As people of faith, Vermont Interfaith Action strongly supports the redevelopment of the Burlington Town Center Mall in order to supply more units of much-needed housing and more jobs for our community. Nothing works better than housing and job opportunities to lift people out of poverty and provide them with justice," said Debbie Ingram, Executive Director of Vermont Interfaith Action.

“A redeveloped Burlington Town Center will increase the availability of housing for our employees here at Dealer.com,” said Alison Von Puschendorf, Director of External Communications at Dealer.com. “Increased housing options leads to a more sustainable economy for all of Burlington, and Dealer is proud to support this impactful project.”

“Now is the time to expand on the amazing success of Burlington with this critical project, said Zandy Wheeler, owner of SkiRack and Patagonia. “Growth in the side streets needs to be a part of our future. As a retailer, I am excited about the new vitality it will bring.”

“Seventh Generation is a strong supporter of the Burlington Town Center project. It’s local companies like us who want to remain in Burlington but face a few basic challenges: The first, ensuring quality housing is available for both new and existing employees.  Second, ensuring there is adequate office space available for businesses to consider as they continue to grow in size and structure,” said John LeBourveau, Vice President of Human Resources at Seventh Generation.

“The redevelopment of the Burlington Town Center will add to the vibrancy and livability of Burlington’s downtown and provide much needed downtown housing and office space for current and prospective tenants,” said Tom Torti, President of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“In recent years I have sensed an emerging consensus among Burlingtonians of the need for mixed-use infill redevelopment of underutilized properties within our downtown to meet our economic, housing, transportation, and environmental goals,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “Today’s support for the redevelopment of the mall by this broad coalition bodes well for this project, and for the prospects of a more vibrant, affordable, walkable, bikeable, and sustainable future for Burlington.”

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Press Release Date: 
04/25/2016
City Department: 
Mayor's Office