(Image Courtesy of Freeman French Freeman)
UPDATE: It has been six years since developer Don Sinex first introduced his plans for the CityPlace Burlington project in the former site of the Burlington Square Mall. Having overcome many obstacles along the way, the project hit its most serious roadblock this past summer when business partner and multinational company, Brookfield Asset Management, pulled out of the deal and sold their 50% share of the development back to Sinex.
According to Sinex, Brookfield’s decision to withdraw from the project did not come as a big surprise to either him or the city of Burlington. In fact, it was during this past January when, in anticipation of the moment, Sinex had initiated a conversation with a trio of local businessmen about taking over the project for if / when Brookfield officially pulled out.
The trio turned out to be a natural fit as they are all well respected local Vermonters with years of experience with construction and development in our area. Stepping up in place of Brookfield came Dave Farrington (President, Farrington Construction), Al Senecal (Owner, Omega Electric Construction) and Scott Ireland (President, S.D. Ireland). With all three having previously consulted on the project, their familiarity with the development plans enabled the new local partnership to quickly file zoning permits and release their revised proposal to the city and community.
Taking into account feedback from the local community as well as the side effects that the pandemic has had the downtown business landscape, the new plans no longer include the once-proposed 196-room hotel, additional office space and two 14-story towers. Instead, the plan calls for an increase in the number of housing units to a total of 426, including 84 that fit the criteria of “affordable housing”. The two towers remain prominent design elements but are downsized to one 10-story tower and one 9-story tower, with the southern tower to also include a rooftop restaurant and observation deck.
While there remain many more hurdles that need to be jumped before construction can begin again, there is growing optimism that the new CityPlace concept could be the jumpstart that downtown Burlington needs after being hit hard by the global pandemic. For more details check out the Seven Days article “A New Developer Team Wants a Shot at Building CityPlace Burlington”.
** If you are interested in learning more about the development / housing in Burlington and the surrounding communities please give Steve a call at  846-9575 or email us at Team@LipkinAudette.com