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Local Update: Cherry St. development

November 9, 2003

What's planned?

A hotel, condominium and apartment complex at the corner of Battery and Cherry streets, adjacent to the Radisson Hotel Burlington. The start of construction is two winters away.

Speaking very optimistically but not unreasonably,'' said Community and Economic Development Director Michael Monte, ''work could start in the spring of 2005.''

Burlington%20Map002.gif

Specifics:

The project, still in the planning stage, would include 114 hotel rooms, 32 residential condominiums and as many as 30 moderate-income apartments, including at least eight that would be designated ''affordable.'' The complex, which Monte says will be similar in height to the surrounding buildings, will include a new, city-owned parking garage, an addition to the Lakeview parking garage at the rear of Filene's department store, and possibly an addition to the Radisson parking garage.

Features:

The hotel would be a ''boutique'' property with a regional flavor, according to CEDO planning documents. It would include deluxe guest rooms with luxury bathrooms;a cafe and espresso/wine bar; a fitness center and spa; a 5,000-square-foot landscaped courtyard; and meeting space for groups of up to 100 people.

Developers:

Westlake Developers, a combination of local developers, is putting the project together on the city-owned, 1.4-acre parcel, purchased in May from Burlington Square Associates for $1.8 million. After building permits are granted and the parking garage is constructed, the land will be subdivided. Westlake Hospitality, headed by Jay Canning and Chuck Deslauriers, will develop the hotel. Canning and Deslauriers have developed hotels locally as well as in Wyoming and New Hampshire. The Retrovest Cos., based in Burlington, will participate in the project as Westlake Residential. Retrovest's local projects include The Commons in Essex, The Commons in Williston village, and Palisades Village Homes in Stowe. Yandow-Dousevicz Construction of Burlington will handle the project construction and management. Yandow-Dousevicz built the residential complex at Battery and College streets, the Chittenden Bank building on Bank Street and the housing project on the Bove property, Victoria Place.

Timetable:

Monte said construction will take about 18 months.

From The Burlington Free Press

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LOCAL UPDATE: South Burlington's City Center

September 28, 2003

What is it?

A move to create a downtown in South Burlington. The idea was introduced in 1986, when residents and planners were complaining that South Burlington lacked a real downtown. Plans included buildings with several stories, parking lots hidden behind buildings, and a mix of ground-floor stores, upper-floor offices and apartments. The planned center would encompass about 40 acres, at the center of which would be Market Street (formerly Corporate Way), which runs between Dorset Street and Hinesburg Road.

The city owns the first 600 paved feet of Market Street; Randy Munson of South Burlington Realty Co. owns the unfinished 2,200-foot portion.

South%20Burlington%20Map001.gif

What happened?

The plan is in the works. In 1996, developers were not convinced they could find tenants for the mixed-use buildings. Some claimed that because the proposed downtown was not on a main road, the businesses would not have the visibility they wanted. City Manager Charles Hafter said the project has been slowed by stormwater and wetland issues. A large section of the proposed area sits on wetlands.

What's new?

In 2001, South Burlington planners unveiled plans to create City Center. Developers were hoping to break ground in 2002. The plan called for buildings of various sizes, most built close to sidewalks. A municipal building, library and a post office would be included in the area. The buildings would contain stores on the ground floors, and offices, small businesses and residences on the upper floors.

According to Juli Beth Hoover, director of planning and zoning for the city, there has been no further progress on the plans to develop the area behind the Central School. The land, owned by Munson, sits on wetlands and because of permitting issues, the plans did not go further.

No applications are pending for the property and no plans to open Market Street, Hoover said. "The city is working with our congressional delegation to seek funding to take over, upgrade and open Market Street," she wrote in an e-mail.

The city recently processed applications for a new development on the Fitzpatrick Buick property. In November, the city gave conceptual approval to a plan to convert the auto sales building into retail space and build a 6,000-square-foot restaurant and two office buildings comprising 25,000 square feet. Hoover said developers have not pursued more city approvals for the plan. The property is listed as "City Center Place" through Pomerleau Real Estate.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION

In 2001, Rep. Frank Mazur and Sen. Jim Condos planned to propose separate legislation that would allow developers to be exempt from the Act 250 review process in emerging downtowns such as South Burlington's.

Act 250, the state's land-use law, is seen by some as an obstacle in South Burlington's plans. Mazur said in a 2001 article, "We want to save developers' time and money. It can get very expensive for developers to have to go through the Act 250 process." The Conservation Law Foundation did not support the exemption. Sandy Levine, staff lawyer for the foundation, said in 2001: "The process looks at how a development satisfies environmental criteria. ... The exemption would remove potentially significant development from having any regional review."

Another obstacle to developing the City Center was a lack of state funding. Mazur, in supporting the exemption, said in 2001, "Emerging downtown areas are not eligible for state funding right now, but if they met the criteria in the bill, they would be. The advantage to this is that communities like South Burlington, with planned emerging downtowns, would have access to state assistance."

From The Burlington Free Press

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LOCAL UPDATE: The Southern Connector

October 12, 2003

What is it?

It is an unfinished highway that is meant to connect Interstate 189 with the heart of Burlington.

Where is it?

It starts on the west side of Shelburne Road, between the Price Chopper supermarket complex and Queen City Park Road. It would run toward Lakeside Avenue and Pine Street, ending at Battery Street near Maple Street.

Burlington%20Map001.gif

Why was it created?

To develop a way to expedite traffic flow from Interstate 189 into Burlington in one of the most congested portions of Chittenden County. Vermont Agency of Transportation data show that an estimated average of 23,900 vehicles a day use Shelburne Road between Home Avenue and the shopping centers near the I-189 interchange.

What prevented it from being finished?

The road was proposed as a four-lane "beltway" around the city to ease north-south traffic. The Southern Connector was to have run through a wetland next to the Pine Street Barge Canal, but the area was found to be contaminated by an old gas works. The locale was named Vermont's first Superfund cleanup site in 1981, and highway work ground to a halt.

During the 1990s, various design changes slowed the Connector's progress.

What's changed?

The $35 million project has two lanes instead of four. A 12-foot-wide turning lane that had been planned for the road's center will move to the edges to make access easier and safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

When will it be completed?

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2004, starting with the Shelburne Road end of the road. A piece built in 1987 and 1988 must be reconstructed. Most of the northern end of the Connector is scheduled for construction in 2005. Traffic should flow on the road in 2006.

Who is paying?

The federal government is covering about 95 percent of the costs. The state is responsible for about 3 percent, while the city of Burlington will pay 2 percent.

Pro and con:

Robert Gold, who lives near Pine Street, said he worries the new road will make congestion even worse for him and his neighbors. "They ought to turn it into a tennis court," he said.

Susan Greene, a Shelburne commuter, said: "We have waited patiently for better access to Burlington."

From The Burlington Free Press

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Wow, that is alot of activity in Burlington. 114 hotel rooms and 32 condos is a relativity huge project as well as the highway project. I'm not sure about trying to create a DT from scratch, though it will be interesting to see the results.

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I'm glad they've revisited the Southern Connector and come to a more sensible project. It was origianlly to be a four lane interstate highway (189) running along the city's waterfront, we all know what expressways do to waterfronts. The added traffic capacity is needed, it's good that it will be a grade-level road and not an expressway.

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Main Street Landing

LOCAL UPDATE: Waterfront development

WHAT IS IT? Main Street Landing Co. proposed a three-story, 85,000-square-foot building at the intersection of College and Lake streets in 2001.

ISSUES: The project was stalled due to opposition from residents of a neighboring condominium, who said the building would block lake views. The Vermont Environmental Board rejected the argument and the project was fully cleared in November.

DETAILS: The building will contain a restaurant, retail shops, office space and a movie theater on the first and second floors. A sculpture garden, greenhouse and coffee shop will make up the third floor. The building will sit on a 56-car parking garage, and will include 18,000 square feet of new park land, according to Main Street Landing redeveloper Melinda Moulton.

Original plans for the project included a 35-room inn, but the tenant fell through in late 2001 due to the post-Sept. 11 economy. The planned size of the inn made finding a replacement difficult. "We could have given up the performing arts piece and made the whole thing an inn but the performing arts center is so important," Moulton said in a 2003 Free Press story.

COST: The complex will cost $11.5 million.

WHAT'S NEW: The project is under construction and is expected to open in July 2005. "Presently we are constructing our foundation walls. Steel erection is soon to follow in early March, and this summer the brick and stone work will be under way," Moulton said in an e-mail.

The company is hoping to obtain a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certificate from the Green Building Council. The certification recognizes high-performance sustainable buildings, according to the Council's Web site.

The developers are looking for tenants. "Main Street Landing is looking for local folks to bring their local business down to the waterfront," Moulton said. The developers are also seeking an operator for the performing arts theater.

TO LEARN MORE: Visit Main Street Landing Co.'s Web site at www.mainstreetlanding.com for information on the waterfront development. The site includes development plans and photos. Find out more about the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification process at www.usgbc.org/leed/leed_main.asp.

From Burlington Free Press

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S. Burlington juggling many projects

By Andy Netzel

Free Press Staff Writer

Construction crews are ripping up and expanding Shelburne Road. A new twin-tank water tower is being installed in the Southeast Quadrant. City's Edge apartments are almost completed. The fire station is finishing its ambulance shopping.

"It's an exciting time to be working here," City Manager Chuck Hafter said. "We're in this business because we like to get things done, not just because we enjoy the bureaucracy."

The city also is seeing its 20-year dream of a downtown's coming closer to reality, the replacement of the Lime Kiln Bridge, the widening of Kennedy Drive, debates beginning about building a new police station and more than a dozen other projects nearing completion.

In the times when City Hall is humming, staff relies on more consultants, Hafter said. Many of these projects require expertise that the regular staff would normally farm out, even if times were slow.

Staff is managing the extra help. That means many of the City Hall workers are busier now than usual.

"The rest of our day-to-day business doesn't stop," Hafter said. "We still have to put together and manage a budget. We still have to review proposed developments. We still have to keep the streets clean."

City Planner Juli Beth Hoover said the high number of projects in the public light is mostly by chance.

"Just through the accident of funding and scheduling, we have a lot going on," she said.

In May, voters established an ambulance service and approved funding for the Lime Kiln Bridge replacement and widening Kennedy Drive.

Many of the other projects deal with stormwater management. Hoover compared the city's work with stormwater to the septic system innovations in the 1960s.

She said while stormwater will eventually be managed well everywhere, a new issue will arrive with new technology. Maybe towns will be dealing with implementing solar power in the future, she said.

Part of the high level of exposure has to do with the types of projects' being completed, Hoover said.

"We're not afraid to take on the tough stuff first," she said. "We know there's a problem at Spear and Swift (streets). If we did the non-controversial stuff you'd still have the problems but wouldn't hear as much."

The Spear and Swift streets intersection redesign has been studied and the City Council will discuss in September how to fund the project.

"These things do come in waves," Hoover said.

From Burlington Free Press

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I've always wanted to visit Burlington. I can remember sometime in the late 80's there was a proposal to build 2 16 story towers there. The locals didn't care for it too much, so it got shot down. I think the town could use a couple of 12 to 15 story buildings...another great view though...

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I've always wanted to visit Burlington. I can remember sometime in the late 80's there was a proposal to build 2 16 story towers there. The locals didn't care for it too much, so it got shot down. I think the town could use a couple of 12 to 15 story buildings...another great view though...

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if i remember correctly, the proposed buildings you are talking about were residential (possibly for the elderly?) and i agree they could use more high rises. currently i think their tallest is 11 stories...there is one 10 story building and a whole bunch of 5-8 story structures. i am also pretty sure that there is a 10-story ready to begin construction some time soon; not sure what its use would be for though...probably residential im guessing.

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The tallest is in fact 11 stories (for the elderly). There's been a 10 story proposed (residential) and it's been given zoning approval, and 2 other buildings are breaking ground soon. One is 7 stories and another is 9. I believe the 7 story is residential and the 9 is a hotel. There's also something else of decent size well underway with construction but I'm not sure what it is or how tall it will be.

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The tallest is in fact 11 stories (for the elderly). There's been a 10 story proposed (residential) and it's been given zoning approval, and 2 other buildings are breaking ground soon. One is 7 stories and another is 9. I believe the 7 story is residential and the 9 is a hotel. There's also something else of decent size well underway with construction but I'm not sure what it is or how tall it will be.

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i go to school at the university of vermont. when i left this past year i noticed something pretty massive going on down by the lake, but i couldnt catch wind of what it was. do you know what im talkinf about? any idea what might be going there?

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Been up to Burkington twice (once just this past month) and have to say that it is absolutely an amazing little city. There is so much going on there and the people are extremly friendly. I was up there at the time of the Chew-Chew fest which is where local restaurants rent and set up tents on the park by the lake and there hundreds of people there. At the same time you could head up to Chapel Street (I think thats what its called) which is a vehicular prohibited street filled with restaurants that all have outdoor seating, shops and a mall that features stores such as Filenes, Abercrombie, and Old Navy.

I was there for a Friday night and the town was hopping. I have to say I was a little scared after traveling on I-91 and I-89 for 4 hours and seeing practically nothing but once I got into Burlington I was not dissapointed. I have to say the area when you get off of I-89 that houses a lot of hotels, a mall and a lot of fast food restaurants which is the same road that leads you into downtown is very hectic and shows you that even Vermont can get suburban sprawl.

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Chapel Street... Church Street... Close enough. That's really the heart of town, that is.

Pvenne: There's a couple things going on down by the lake. As I mentioned above the 9 and 7 story projects are on the corner of Battery and Cherry and also on Cherry they're adding 2 more floors to that parking garage by Filene's. I got my hands on a rendering:

857d2baa.jpg

Here's another project by the lake... Not sure what it is:

d547ce8b.jpg

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Goodness..complaining about lost sunlight from a little 10 story building?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

haha, really! you must not know any vermonters...they can be worse than mainers...they are at least tied.

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LOCAL UPDATE: Waterfront development

WHAT IS IT? Main Street Landing Co. proposed a three-story, 85,000-square-foot building at the intersection of College and Lake streets in 2001.

ISSUES: The project was stalled due to opposition from residents of a neighboring condominium, who said the building would block lake views. The Vermont Environmental Board rejected the argument and the project was fully cleared in November.

DETAILS: The building will contain a restaurant, retail shops, office space and a movie theater on the first and second floors. A sculpture garden, greenhouse and coffee shop will make up the third floor. The building will sit on a 56-car parking garage, and will include 18,000 square feet of new park land, according to Main Street Landing redeveloper Melinda Moulton.

Original plans for the project included a 35-room inn, but the tenant fell through in late 2001 due to the post-Sept. 11 economy. The planned size of the inn made finding a replacement difficult. "We could have given up the performing arts piece and made the whole thing an inn but the performing arts center is so important," Moulton said in a 2003 Free Press story.

COST: The complex will cost $11.5 million.

WHAT'S NEW: The project is under construction and is expected to open in July 2005. "Presently we are constructing our foundation walls. Steel erection is soon to follow in early March, and this summer the brick and stone work will be under way," Moulton said in an e-mail.

The company is hoping to obtain a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certificate from the Green Building Council. The certification recognizes high-performance sustainable buildings, according to the Council's Web site.

The developers are looking for tenants. "Main Street Landing is looking for local folks to bring their local business down to the waterfront," Moulton said. The developers are also seeking an operator for the performing arts theater.

TO LEARN MORE: Visit Main Street Landing Co.'s Web site at www.mainstreetlanding.com for information on the waterfront development. The site includes development plans and photos. Find out more about the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification process at www.usgbc.org/leed/leed_main.asp.

From Burlington Free Press

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wow. so thats whats up with the end of college street, i knew something was going on down there. any new news cotuit?

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