142-Room Hotel Proposed for Burlington YMCA Building | Off Message

142-Room Hotel Proposed for Burlington YMCA Building

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The proposed hotel - COURTESY OF SMITH BUCKLEY ARCHITECTS
  • Courtesy of Smith Buckley Architects
  • The proposed hotel
A Florida-based investment firm has submitted sketch plans to build a hotel at the current Greater Burlington YMCA location on College Street.

Hospitality Funding, under the business name Hotel Y Burlington, is planning a six-story, 142-room Cambria hotel, one of 10 brands owned by Choice Hotels. The company also operates Comfort Inn, Clarion, Econo Lodge and others, according to its website.

But Hospitality Funding's chairman and CEO has Queen City ties, according to Nicole Ravlin, a spokesperson for the hotel. Scott Silver attended the University of Vermont as an undergrad, and his son lives in BTV, she said. Silver will serve as the Burlington project's managing partner.



“Vermont is kind of his home away from home, and this is why he was interested in doing something with the community here,” Ravlin said.

More detailed plans will be unveiled at Wednesday's Wards 1 and 8 Neighborhood Planning Assembly meeting, said Scott Gustin, a principal planner with the city of Burlington. Silver and Cleary Buckley of Smith Buckley Architects are scheduled to attend and answer questions.

Silver said his firm “assumed the contract” for the property at 266 College Street last October from Montpelier lawyer Frank von Turkovich, who signed a contract to buy the historic building in 2016. City records show the property sold for $3 million; it was originally on the market for $3.75 million.

Smith Buckley Architects filed a memo with the NPA that says the hotel will retain the Y’s gabled roof structure at the corner of College and South Union streets but will demolish the building’s back portion. Designs also call for 77 underground parking spaces, a rooftop bar and restaurant and a “green/vegetated roof with kinetic art.”
Another view of the proposed structure - COURTESY OF SMITH BUCKLEY ARCHITECTS
  • Courtesy of Smith Buckley Architects
  • Another view of the proposed structure
“We anticipate that this feature will provide an inviting destination for the community, offering an experience that does not currently exist in the city,” the architect’s memo says of the rooftop features.

The hotel will be built to sustainable design standards and will include its own stormwater retention system, the architects’ memo says.

The firm predicts the hotel will reduce traffic congestion at the intersection since guest turnover happens throughout the day “versus the highly concentrated pickup and drop off” times for the Y’s childcare program.

Meanwhile, the Burlington Y is continuing construction on its new home a block away at 298 College Street, site of the former Ethan Allen Club. The Y will continue operating at its current location until the new building is complete, likely by early 2020. Hotel construction is slated to commence that spring, the architects’ memo says.

The hotel must first pass design and development reviews, however. Those hearings are tentatively planned for later this month, Gustin said.

Jonathan Chapple-Sokol, a Wards 1 and 8 NPA steering committee member, said he hasn’t reviewed the hotel’s specific plans but anticipates the NPA meeting will host a robust discussion.

“I have an open mind about these things,” he said. “There’s a lot of interested people in the ward who come to the NPA. It may not be as exciting as others, but I think there will definitely be some good Q&A.”

The NPA will meet at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday in the UVM Medical Center’s McClure Lobby Conference Room.

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