Development

Real Estate as an Investment

Investing in real estate has long been a popular and successful investment strategy and with the record-high volatility currently found in the stock market, more and more people are now considering real estate as a better alternative to traditional stocks and bonds.

In a recent article published by RIS Media, Brian Davis (co-founder of SparkRental.com) highlighted a few of the many benefits that real estate investing offers… 

6 Perks of Rental Properties for Retirement Income | RISMedia.com

While almost every investment opportunity comes with inherent risks, real estate markets don’t typically correlate to the stock market and can provide investors with an opportunity to diversify their investment strategy while at the same time generating positive cash flow and property appreciation.

Having helped hundreds of local clients build wealth through real estate investing, the Lipkin Audette Team understands that, as is the case with any investment, a successful investment strategy needs to be designed to fit an individual’s particular set of needs and goals. If you’d like to speak with our team about how to get started or what the current market value of your property / portfolio might be, give us a call anytime at [802] 846-9575 or email Steve@LipkinAudette.com.   

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) | Policy Reform

Exciting news for Burlington Property owners!

Photo: James Buck | Seven Days

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) have been long been legal in the city Burlington. However, until now, a rigid zoning policy had effectively limited the number of legally permitted and constructed ADUs to just 45 over the last 10+ years. 

On February 18th, 2020, the City Council unanimously adopted the proposed zoning reforms for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in Burlington.  According to the City of Burlington’s website, “The goal of this reform is to encourage the creation of ADUs to support homeowners as they age in place, provide a flexible option to help owners continue to afford their homes and add additional affordable housing options within existing neighborhoods”.

Recommendations for this legislation were provided by the City’s 2018 ADU White Paper as well as input from the Mayor’s 2019 Housing Summits.  The following changes to the ADU ordinance have now gone into effect…

  • Creating an ADU is no longer the primary reason for a project to go to the DRB and the conditional use requirement for creating an ADU is removed.
  • ADUs no longer require a dedicated parking space.
  • The maximum ADU size in a primary home is now 800 square feet or 30% of the gross floor area of the home; whichever is greater.  This change allows smaller single-family homes to create an ADU that is at least 800 square feet, regardless of the previous 30% guideline.
  • If stormwater impacts are addressed, up to 650 square feet of the lot area are exempt from lot coverage limits.  This change addresses the difficulties that homeowners with smaller lots faced with regards to coverage limits.

For more information or to share your input with the City of Burlington, check out the following links…

Accessory Dwelling Units | City of Burlington

ADU Policy Reform | City of Burlington

IMPORTANT NOTE: ADUs may be used as short-term rentals; however, property owners who plan to do so will be required to meet the zoning requirements for “short term rentals”, click HERE for details.  Most notably, short-term rental ADUs are required to provide a parking space and the property’s primary residence must be owner-occupied.

** If you are interested in learning more about how creating an ADU will impact your Burlington property values give Steve a call at [802] 846-9575 or email us at Team@LipkinAudette.com

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 info@LipkinAudette.com.

 

 

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.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON VTDIGGER.COM HERE

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…

Funding of UVM Multi-Purpose Athletic Complex

Photo: UVM Athletics

The UVM Board of Trustees approved a unanimous resolution in October regarding how the proposed Multipurpose athletic facility will be funded. The payment strategies mentioned by the proposal include gifts, bonds, credit, and student fees. UVM is reported as having secured $21.8M from donors so far with a goal of $30M by Feb 1.

The project itself includes construction of a new basketball arena, expanded fitness center, expanded health and wellness spaces, renovations to Gutterson arena, and complex-wide renovations. Read the full article in the Vermont Cynic HERE!

-Alec, LipVT

Hardware Store Coming Soon Across from City Hall Park

 

Photo from www.sevendaysvt.com

Gordon Winters, owner of five other existing Ace Hardware stores in Vermont and New York, is in the process of opening another Ace Hardware on College Street in Burlington. The location, directly across from City Hall Park, abuts a Northfield Savings Bank branch. Winters and others say the store is filling a void left by the closing of Hagar Hardware on Church Street in the 90’s. The store would stock typical hardware store products in addition to specialty items targeting “college students, specialty plumbing for the city’s older buildings, and a marine section for boaters.” A hardware store is a step towards having more downtown retailers that serve residents’ daily needs in addition to the many restaurants and boutique stores. In this Seven Days article, the author cites Bibens Ace in the New North End as the next closest hardware store at 3 miles away from downtown. In the comments section, folks have mentioned that Curtis Lumber, while closer, is a building supply store, catering especially towards contractors in their stock and hours. Read the full article from Seven Days HERE!

Greater Burlington YMCA: Bigger, Better, Breaking Ground on College Street

 

Photo courtesy of Greater Burlington YMCA

With a proposed completion date of early 2020, construction has begun on the new building for the Greater Burlington YMCA. If you’re headed up College Street, check out the newest big hole in the ground between South Union St. and Hungerford Terrace. S.D. Ireland has been hard at work on the foundation of this $15M project. The building will house two pools, a gym, running/walking track, fitness studios, workout space, and expanded drop-in child care space. The footprint of the building will eclipse that of the old Ethan Allen Club which has been demolished to make space for the new Y. The Y states that membership rates will go up, but expected increases in membership numbers will help keep these price increases moderate. 

Photo courtesy of Greater Burlington YMCA

 

Read the full article from the Burlington Free Press HERE!

 

Proposed Bove's Burlington Apartment Building

In December of 2015, Bove's, the iconic Italian restaurant of Burlington,Vermont, closed its doors to hungry locals to move North to Milton, Vermont and focus on their spaghetti sauce business. The closing sparked discussion on what would come to the 1940s building. While some suggested it be moved to Shelburne Museum, others argued it needed to stay put being on the Vermont State Register of Historic Places. The owner, however has a much different idea for the iconic piece of little Italy in mind. He is proposing a $14 million apartment complex for 64 Pearl Street which would turn the 1940s restaurant as well as two 19th century apartment buildings to rubble. In their places would be 50 new apartment units to Pearl Street. This plan is still in the beginning stages and it’s unclear what barriers Bove will have to break through to go forward but the news have historians and the Burlington Apartment Market buzzing.

For the full article click here. https://www.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/archives/2016/09/12/former-boves-cafe-could-meet-the-wrecking-ball

For more info about the Burlington, Vermont apartment or housing market, visit www.LipVT.com.