Rendering of the proposed renovation of Burlington Town Center
Burlington's downtown mall makeover got a boost Monday in the form of a major tenant.
The University of Vermont Medical Center has tentatively agreed to lease space for 350 to 400 nonclinical employees at the Burlington Town Center, starting in 2019, according to mall owner Don Sinex and hospital leaders.
By that time, a substantial portion of the proposed $230 million mall redevelopment is expected to be done.
“We are happy to keep our close connection to Burlington and to strengthen its downtown with our highly skilled workforce,” Dr. John Brumsted, the hospital's chief executive officer, said in a press release. “We expect the BTC site will provide cost-effective and efficient space for us in a newly vibrant downtown location. We are very pleased to be right here in Burlington.”
The mall still faces a number of hurdles before the makeover happens. The Burlington City Council must approve a predevelopment agreement, and the project also must win approval from the Development Review Board.
Renovation plans call for replacing the 40-year-old retail center, which fronts onto Church Street, with new buildings that offer a mix of office, retail and 274 units of residential space. A new parking garage would be built, nearly doubling current capacity. Two of the proposed buildings would be 14 stories tall, requiring a change in the city's current building height limit.
The hospital and Sinex's Devonwood Investors plan to negotiate a full lease agreement in the next few months. The lease would likely last for 10 years and include an option for the medical center to buy the space. The hospital employees would relocate in January 2019, and many of the employees going to the Town Center would move from other leased sites off-campus.