Blog :: 2019

Burlington CityPlace | Redesigned Proposal

UPDATE: In a presentation delivered to the Burlington City Council at their meeting this past Monday, the developers behind the Downtown Burlington CityPlace project unveiled their latest redesign concept. The redesigned proposal keeps intact the original concept of mixed-use space but reduces the number of stories on each of the two towers from fourteen to ten. The updated concept would also make use of the current remnants of the Burlington Town Center Mall in addition to the building that used to contain Macy's.   

Even with the reduced height, the tower on the Cherry Street side is still expected to contain 280 to 300 apartments, with 20% of the units qualifying as “affordable” as per Burlington’s inclusionary zoning ordinance.  At the other end, a 175-room hotel will occupy the Bank Street side of the property with retail space filling the first floor of each building. Additionally, the new plans also call for an "adequate" number of parking spaces be located both in between and below the two tower structures (Seven Days, CityPlace Burlington Developers Unveil Scaled-Down Proposal, 2019).

Image Courtesy of the City of Burlington


Mayor Miro Weinberger addressed the new plan at the Burlington City Council meeting on Monday saying, “What you've laid out tonight represents the potential of achieving all the major goals the city laid out as we sat down to this process years ago,” listing housing and jobs among the benefits. “This represents a step in the right direction toward fixing a part of the downtown that has long been problematic, but we certainly [have] a long way to go” (City of Burlington, Press Releases, 2019).

For more information on this topic or other stories that impact Burlington, the surrounding communities and its residents; give us a call at [802] 846-8800 or email us at



City of Burlington Reappraisal Project

City of Burlington Reappraisal Project – Aimed Completion by April 1st, 2021

The City of Burlington is conducting a reassessment of all properties citywide. According to the City of Burlington, “Burlington property values are no longer meeting equitable valuation standards set by the Vermont department of Tax and the International Association of Assessing Officers organization (IAAO). The Assessor’s Office has teamed up with Tyler Technologies Inc. to complete the reappraisal process. The goal of the project is to “reset property valuations to current fair market levels to comply with Vermont property tax laws, which will equitably reset the tax burden (City of Burlington, VT, 2019).” 

According to the City, the timeline for the reappraisal project is as follows:

Residential Property Owners have likely already received letters from the Assessor’s Office and the Tyler Technologies Inc. reappraisal team. The letters are to inform property owners of the reappraisal project, as well as allow for correction of property data, if need be. According to the City of Burlington, “on-site property data collection will be conducted by Tyler Technologies appraisers. These appraisers will also use other property data resources such as: high resolution imaging, property data obtained online, permit history review; geospatial tools to analyze valuation, on-site building changes and land sizes (City of Burlington, VT, 2019).”

Accordingly, Commercial Property Owners should have received an Income and Expense form to be filled out and returned to the Burlington Assessor’s Office. According to the City of Burlington, “Income and Expense information is important for the determination of the property value (City of Burlington, VT, 2019).” The purpose of this sheet is to gather information regarding rental and leasing information, and not the income and expenses of a business.

It is important to note that each Tyler Technologies employee has undergone a background check and is required to display their city identification. For an example of municipal tax rate change, please see the photo below. For a list and explanation for revaluation data terms, please click here. To fix discrepancies in collected data on a property, choose one of the following options:

  1. Use the online link at to fill out a blank form on the City of Burlington website.
  2. Make corrections on the mailed form, and email to
  3. Make corrections on the mailed form, and return the form by mail to:

City of Burlington

Office of the Assessor

149 Church Street, Room 17

Burlington, VT 05401

*** For more information or questions on how the reassessment may alter your property value, give us a call at [802] 846-9575 or email



Filing Annual EMP Compliance Has Gone Paperless

According to the Vermont Department of Health, the accepted way of filing for the yearly EMP Compliance has changed and can now only be filed online.

Essential Maintenance Practices, otherwise known as EMP, is enforced by the Vermont Department of Health, and states that “all owners and managers must complete Essential Maintenance Practices in rental housing built prior to 1978 to reduce the risk of lead poisoning in resident children (Vermont Housing Financing Agency, 2019).” An annual submission of EMP Compliance is required by Vermont law of rental owners and managers and childcare providers.


The shift of EMP Compliance to paperless statements is effective immediately.


UVM Breaks Ground on New Athletic Complex


The University of Vermont is breaking ground this month on the long-awaited upgrades to the Gutterson and Patrick sports facilities. Most notably, a $4 million gift from Chuck Davis (class of 1972) pushed the UVM foundation past its $30 million goal set forth by the Board of Trustees. The renovations will include significant changes to the basketball & hockey arenas, as well as increased space dedicated to student health and wellness. Read about the plans HERE on UVM’s website.

-Alec Murphy. Lipkin Audette Team


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    225 Units Approved for Five Corners


    Essex Junction has recently approved the plans for a new 225 unit residential project. The mix of ‘studio apartments, larger rentals and rooftop condos’ will occupy 5 buildings in the Five Corners area – the heart of downtown Essex Junction. Preliminary descriptions of the project state that 10% of the apartments will be offered as affordable housing. High demand for housing in Chittenden County continues to drive large projects such as these. Read more about the project and see more visual renderings HERE and HERE.

    -Alec Murphy. Lipkin Audette Team


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      CityPlace Burlington Construction to Restart in May

      Photo by Alexandre Silberman/VTDigger

      UPDATE:  The developer behind the CityPlace Burlington project now says they are back on track thanks to a proposed financing agreement with a new lender.  According to the latest update from majority partner Brookfield Asset Management, construction is set to begin again around May 6th, with an initial occupancy timeline of March-May, 2021.

      Elected officials in Burlington have responded with a mixed reaction to this new development (pun intended), but are encouraged by the naming of a specific date that construction will begin once again. Developer Don Sinex indicated in an email that once construction begins again this coming May, he fully expects that “the project will run smoothly to a full completion.”


      Once completed, CityPlace Burlington will feature a mix of retail, commercial and residential offerings in the space that used to be occupied by the downtown Burlington Town Center. What is still unclear, however, is what kind of housing will be included in the $220 million project.   

      Let’s open up discussion below about what kind of housing you’d like to see in the new CityPlace development.  Be specific in terms of details like square footage, rental vs. purchase, monthly rent, sale price, HOA dues, amenities, etc…

      Setting the Stage


      One key to selling your home is to present it in a way that will make buyers feel at home as they tour your house. Lying around the office was an old copy of a “Coldwell Banker Home Enhancement Guide.”  In it are some great suggestions about how to prepare and stage your home for photos, showings, and sale. Did you know that within 15 seconds a buyer has developed an opinion of your property? First impressions are key!

      My favorite section of the guide is titled “Appeal to the Senses.”


      It is proven that people react more favorably to property shown under bright light than dark. The following steps should help you keep your room as bright as possible.

      • Keep windows clean.
      • Use adequate wattage in light bulbs.
      • Consider replacing old fluorescent lamps, which darken with use.
      • Use Mirrors to magnify the feeling of light and space.
      • Use light wall colors.


      Smell has more impact that you might expect. It can work for or against you.

      • The smell of newness is positive. This scent can be achieved by applying a fresh coat of finish to natural wood or paint to walls.
      • The smell of cleanliness is important. Beyond actually cleaning, fresh flowers or grinding a quarter section of a lemon in the garbage disposal can help.
      • Smells to avoid: strong pet odors, tobacco, oil or gas.


      This is just a small excerpt, and while some of the suggestions are dated like, “Install a wall telephone in the bathroom for a high-tech look”, the fundamental concepts of the guide still ring true. There are lots of small things a seller can do that projects to buyers that the home is clean, well maintained, and a lovely place to live.

      View a PDF of the full Guide HERE!

      Alec Murphy, Lipkin Audette Team


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