- Diana Bolton ©️ Seven Days
The apartments, suitable for 500 residents, will help meet the growing housing needs of UVM graduate students, faculty and staff who struggle to find affordable homes within walking distance of campus. Richard Cate, UVM’s vice president of finance and administration, said employees and graduate students cite the lack of affordable housing as a major barrier to working and studying at UVM.
That housing crunch has long affected neighborhoods near campus, university president Suresh Garimella acknowledged in a statement. For years, city residents have competed with UVM students for affordable apartments.
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The new plan targets an area already designated ripe for additional housing: South Burlington City Center. The apartments — Catamount Run — will be on the corner of Market and Garden streets.
“The goal was to find a location where the community has already said, 'We want to have housing here,'” said Cate.
SoBu has been slowly rolling out development projects to create a walkable city center in a largely retail area. So far, the city has relocated its city hall and library to new buildings there.
A new pedestrian and bicycle bridge was already planned to help people cross Interstate 89 between Burlington and South Burlington, which will help Catamount Run residents easily get to the college campus. South Burlington was awarded a $9.7 million federal transportation grant for the project.