Mayor Weinberger Secures Unanimous Council Approval to Advance Three Generational Projects to the Next Stage

The Burlington City Council Unanimously Approved Three Actions: Memorial Block Pre-Development Agreement, Pre-development Agreement for South End Coordinated Redevelopment, and a Slate of Budget and Contract Amendments to Enable Ongoing Construction of the Champlain Parkway

Burlington, VT – Tonight, Mayor Weinberger secured unanimous City Council approval to advance three priority projects that will support future growth and investment in Burlington and the creation of new housing, jobs, and improved transportation and public infrastructure for the future. At the regular meeting of the City Council, the body approved three separate actions a pre-development agreement for the Memorial Block, a pre-development for the coordinated redevelopment of 13 acres of surface parking lot in the newly created South End Innovation District, and a slate of budget and contract amendments which together enable ongoing design and construction of the Champlain Parkway.

“When I announced last fall that I would not seek re-election, I committed to running through the tape and getting as much done as possible in my final months,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “With these actions approved by the Council tonight, and with other recent headway made on Great Streets Main Street, CityPlace, Cambrian Rise, and to secure the future of the Air National Guard and BETA Technologies at the growing Patrick Leahy Burlington International Airport, I am confident that the future of Burlington will be brighter, stronger, and greener.

While still in their early stages, the redevelopment projects in the South End and on the Memorial Block will bring in millions in private investment, new public infrastructure, and thousands of units of needed housing, if realized. Construction of the Champlain Parkway is already well underway and will bring dramatic improvements to stormwater, connectivity, pedestrian, and cyclist safety, and will better support this growing and vibrant part of Burlington for years to come.

Memorial Block Pre-development Agreement

This pre-development agreement sets a schedule for the due diligence required to determine the feasibility and deal structure for a comprehensive redevelopment of this important part of Burlington’s downtown. The City has long held a vision for the redevelopment of this key gateway block, which will chart the direction for key capital activities in the downtown, activate underutilized properties, and address the City’s chronic housing shortage with a range of public benefits. At this time, the developers and the City anticipate that the redevelopment will include a mix of housing, hotel, and commercial uses, both indoor and outdoor civic space, and below-grade public parking to serve the block and surrounding area. The project is expected to include all of the parcels that have frontage on Main Street as well as the Central Fire Station and surface parking lots between the library and the church.

This agreement is a binding commitment on the City’s part to give the Developer the requisite time to investigate the property and propose a project that is responsive to the City’s needs. The work to follow includes public engagement and:

  • Physical Due Diligence – including further evaluation of the feasibility of preserving and re-
    purposing portions of the Memorial Auditorium;
  • Programmatic Due Diligence – including the development of a detailed program of uses and
    conceptual plans, market feasibility assessment, regulatory feasibility assessment, preliminary budget, and property appraisals;
  • Developer Due Diligence – confirmation of capacity to implement the project;
  • Central Fire Station Relocation Feasibility – including the exploration of a new public safety
    facility which is intended to meet the near- and long-term public safety needs of the City.


  • In the summer of 2023, two local developers – Eric Farrell and Joe Larkin – gained site control of the three privately held parcels in the middle of the block and approached the Administration with a proposal to explore a partnership with the City on a redevelopment that would meet many of the community’s goals.
  • The Administration brought this proposal to the City Council in the fall of 2023, outlining this opportunity for partnership with a local, experienced development and management team.
  • In November 2023, the City Council passed a resolution supporting further exploration of this opportunity and authorizing the Mayor to sign a Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore the feasibility of entering into a development agreement.
  • The Administration has set a goal to fulfill the pre-development agreement and return to the Council in December of 2024 with a determination of the viability of the project, with a potential Development Agreement to be negotiated and authorized by summer 2025.

Pre-development Agreement for the Coordinated Redevelopment of the South End

This action continues the collaborative work of the City, Ride Your Bike, LLC, and Champlain College for the redevelopment of an approximately 13-acre area within the newly created South End Innovation District. The coordinated redevelopment of this area provides a unique opportunity to build a new sustainable, walkable, mixed-income neighborhood with more than 1,000 new homes.

The Pre-Development Agreement identifies an agreed-upon set of foundational objectives and design goals for ongoing study and potential future collaboration over the next nine months. Based on the outcome of this work, the City could enter into a Development Agreement by the end of 2024. The agreement will support the creation of:

  • a site-wide housing plan (with a minimum of 20% affordable housing);
  • a public realm conceptual design;
  • a joint PUD application;
  • the study of the infrastructure challenges and opportunities on the site and immediate vicinity, as well as potential funding mechanisms.


In December 2021, Mayor Weinberger put forth a 10-point Action Plan to fulfill the promise of
Housing as a Human Right in Burlington which included a commitment to open new housing opportunities in the South End.

  • On July 24, 2023, the City Council unanimously approved the South End Innovation District (SEID) zoning amendment, which was developed with the intent to promote a vibrant urban district with a mix of uses, including hundreds of new homes. The SEID covers 14 vacant or underutilized parcels, including the City-owned 68 Sears Lane parcel.
  • In anticipation of the SEID, on January 31, 2023, the Administration entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the owners of land parcels neighboring the City-owned property in the South End: Champlain College, owners of 175 Lakeside Avenue, and Ride Your Bike, LLC, owners of 125 Lakeside Avenue.
  • The MOU facilitated a conceptual design and framework for the coordinated redevelopment of the parcels, which includes 13 acres of surface parking lot. The three parties have been working together over the past year with funding from the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission.

Budget and Contract Amendments for the Champlain Parkway

In April 2022, the Weinberger administration successfully secured approval for an initial construction contract to build the Champlain Parkway by a unanimous vote of the City Council. The more than $80 million project, when completed, will improve traffic circulation, alleviate overburdened roadways, protect Lake Champlain through enhanced stormwater management, and improve vehicular, bike, and pedestrian safety in the Southwest section of the City. Following 35 years in limbo, construction of the Champlain Parkway began in July 2022 and is moving ahead of schedule.

The slate of amendments to the current budget and contracts approved tonight will enable ongoing construction and design work, with a proposed work session for the council on the final construction contract planned for April- May 2024.


Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office