Artist rendering of the new BTC at the corner of Cherry and Pine streets, courtesy of Devonwood.
Vermont Business Magazine Devonwood Investors LLC, owner and developer of the Burlington Town Center (BTC), today announced that PC Construction of South Burlington has been selected as general contractor for the $200-plus million Burlington Town Center redevelopment project. The redevelopment will reconstruct much of the existing Church Street mall, rebuild Pine and St Paul streets and add an apartment and office tower. Construction is expected to commence in the first half of 2017.
Devonwood also announced the hiring of other firms - several of them local - which it says collectively employ hundreds of individuals skilled in architecture, engineering, permitting, construction management, and related areas. Following the favorable City-wide vote on November 8 to affirm new zoning standards for a portion of the downtown that includes the Burlington Town Center, the redevelopment project has moved quickly to finalize retention of its development team and to complete work required for City permitting.
The project has been scaled back from about $250 million as originally conceived to upwards of $220 million. Major changes include reducing the overall project by over 100,000 square feet and not reconstructing the Church Street end of the mall.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates the immediate benefit of the voters’ decision on November 8 to support the Burlington Town Center redevelopment,” said Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger. “Devonwood’s selection of local design, construction, and consulting firms to help carry out this project is a tribute to the considerable talent in our very own backyard. We are now poised to make significant progress on creating new housing, construction and permanent jobs, environmental protections for our lake, and a revitalized downtown neighborhood in the place of an aging mall. I look forward to the redevelopment completing its permit review process and continuing to move forward toward groundbreaking.”
Don Sinex announced today that PC Construction of South Burlington would be the general contractor for the refurbished Burlington Town Center mall project. He said he would submit applications for permits for the $220 million project by mid-December with construction scheduled for mid-2017. To his right are Mayor Miro Weinberger and Jay Fayette, senior VP of PC Construction. VBM photo on the lower level of the BTC mall.
Devonwood Principal Don Sinex said he anticipates filing for permits about December 15. Groundbreaking is anticipated to be mid-2017.
Along with the retail (anchored by LL Bean), the residential component is expected to include Champlain College housing; the office component is expected to include the UVM Medical Center.
Estimated $220 Million in Private Improvements:
- 274 Housing Units- 20% of these units (55 units) will be affordable to residents earning 65% of the Area Median Income, and all market and inclusionary units will be mixed throughout to promote equity and community. Up to 80 units may be rented to students via a master lease with Champlain College
- 210,831 Sq.Ft. of Office Space, including +/- 110,000 Sq.Ft. for UVM Medical Center
- 131,994 Sq.Ft. of New Retail Space for shops and services, and eliminating the underground corridor in the current mall
- Automobile parking spaces for all uses and visitors, as well as significant bicycle parking and storage
- State of the art stormwater management capacity as required by the proposed DMUC zoning
- Solar roof canopy, shielding mechanicals and providing energy for the project
- Updated building façade along Church Street, maintaining the current height
- Publicly-accessible observatory on the Bank Street upper story; new community event room in Church Street portion of project.
Up to $22 Million in Public Improvements:
- Reconnect St. Paul Street between Cherry & Bank Streets
- Reconnect Pine Street between Cherry & Bank Streets
- Streetscape and stormwater infrastructure enhancements on 2 blocks of Bank Street and 4 Blocks of Cherry Street
- Opportunity to explore creation of a district energy system to provide heat and hot water to downtown customers.
CHANGES MADE IN OCTOBER 2016:
•Eliminated St. Paul underground mall corridor to open all retail & services to the street, including the new, fully accessible blocks at St. Paul and Pine.
•Reduced massing of residential upper stories to lighten and improve the spaces.
•Reduced the upper floor massing – only 16% of total project footprint will rise to 160 foot height.
•Added housing on lower levels to front on Bank and Cherry Streets to maximize apartments and further buffer parking from view.
•20% of the housing – 55 units – Will be permanently inclusionary units. Units will be located throughout the buildings in a mix of market and inclusionary.
•Preserved Church Street façade height and massing, while upgrading and expanding the entrance.
•Incorporated detailed urban design standards required by new zoning for more brick and façade articulation, lighter elements on upper floors, and screened mechanicals.
•Utilized the new great streets design standards for all
PC Construction - will serve as the general contractor and construction manager for the project. Over the past 58 years, PC Construction has developed its reputation as one of the leading general commercial construction firms on the East Coast. Founded and headquartered in South Burlington, Vermont, PC Construction is 100% employee owned. It has successfully completed major projects in Vermont and elsewhere, including the LEED Platinum George D. Aiken Center, the LEED Silver Shelburne Museum Center for Art and Education, the Winooski Downtown Redevelopment, the Waterbury State Office Complex and multiple projects at Stowe Mountain Resort in addition to the University of Vermont STEM Complex project currently in construction.
“The Burlington Town Center project is all about revitalizing the marketplace and supporting the local economy through new housing, retail and more, so it’s a natural fit to partner with PC Construction and so many other Vermont firms who represent the very best in construction, engineering, landscaping and architecture,” said Don Sinex, principal of Devonwood Investors LLC. “These talented professionals will assist in bringing this project to reality and a future for Burlington that promises jobs, economic growth, additional tax revenue, a reconnected City, and a more vibrant Downtown Burlington. Our shared vision of a project that is environmentally sound, where people can live, work, shop and socialize is an important step closer with this announcement.”
“PC Construction’s 1,200 employee-owners are proud to be part of the Burlington Town Center project,” said Jay Fayette, senior vice president of PC Construction. “We've worked closely with Don Sinex and the Devonwood team to help develop the plans to date and are thrilled to see their vision become reality for the City of Burlington. We will continue to work closely with local design firms, key Vermont subcontractors and the City of Burlington to ensure that this project brings great opportunity to the business community, while keeping our neighbors and visitors safe and sound during construction work.”
PKSB Architects – Based out of New York City, PKSB will act as the lead architect firm for the project. Their principals, Sherida Paulsen and William Fellows have been involved in the project since its inception and have been presenting the design changes to City Council and the people of Burlington throughout the process. They are most notably known for projects such as the Vietnam War Memorial in New York City and Father Duffy Square which is situated at the northern end of the Times Square corridor, one of the most highly trafficked areas of New York City. The Square is named after Father
Duffy, a famous New Yorker: the most decorated Chaplain in the United States Army, as well as a renowned religious scholar who served in World War I with the 69th Regiment. PKSB Architects is recognized as an award-winning full-service firm with a long history of completing projects of every scale and scope. Celebrating over 50 years in practice, PKSB has been creating architecture and interior spaces with an ever-expanding range – including academic, preservation, institutional, residential, hospitality, public housing, infrastructure, public art, civic memorials and houses of worship. PKSB’s efforts have been rewarded with numerous design awards, including the prestigious P/A Award and AIA honor awards on the local, state and national levels.
Other local firms retained to help this redevelopment project succeed include:
- Freeman French Freeman – Freeman French Freeman – With 20 architects including 8 LEED accredited professionals, Freeman French Freeman will serve as the local architect for the project, guiding design, permitting, and LEED certification with PKSB Architects in New York City. Freeman French Freeman has served as lead or local architect on an impressive roster of public and private projects including the Burlington International Airport, the University of Vermont James Jeffords Center, a LEED Gold facility, and the recently completed Waterbury State Office Complex also LEED Gold.
- Engineering Ventures – An engineering firm founded in Burlington in 1994, Engineering Ventures will serve as lead civil engineer for the redevelopment. They employ 30 qualified professionals and technicians to provide a broad range of civil engineering services with specialties in structural and site engineering and planning. In addition to a holistic approach to site design and collaboration with the architect and landscape architect team members, the civil team is engaged in Low Impact Development (LID) and innovative storm water treatment methodologies. Engineering Ventures combines innovation, creativity, and pragmatic implementation of design solutions with a commitment to sustainability that includes many LEED Certified Projects.
- VHB –A multi-disciplinary professional services firm skilled in transportation planning, engineering, land development, and environmental services with over 1,300 employees in offices along the East Coast. VHB’s South Burlington team of 55 engineers, scientists, planners, and designers will provide traffic and transportation engineering services on this project. VHB’s Vermont office recently provided integrated services in support of Burlington’s Downtown Transit Center, South Burlington’s City Center initiative, and is committed to delivering projects that help shape Vermont’s communities in a meaningful way.
- Hardy Structural Engineering – Located in Colchester, Vermont, Hardy Structural Engineering is a small reputable firm specializing in complex construction projects and will serve as lead structural engineer on this redevelopment. Established by Tim Hardy, PE in 2003, HSE has grown to a total of (6) employees and has completed several local notable projects including Eagles Landing Apartments for Champlain College, Jay Peak Redevelopment, Burke Mountain Redevelopment, AnC Biotech, UVM Redstone Lofts, St. Michaels College Residence Halls, and several private hotels and large residential buildings.
- SE Group – A landscape architecture, planning and design firm with an office on Church Street in Burlington, Vermont, SE Group will focus its work on landscape, streetscape, lighting and associated design elements of the redevelopment project. The Vermont office of SE Group has a team of eight landscape architects and planners who work throughout the region and nationally on a diverse array of projects; focusing on community and resort development. Locally our team has been working with the City of Burlington on the waterfront north, Moran Center and College Street access projects as well as a master plan for the Burlington Bike Path. Presently, SE Group is working with City Market on it new South End market project and with the University of Vermont on the landscape design for its new STEM building.
- Unified Parking Partners - UPP is a full-service parking management company, based in Portland, ME and servicing more than 100 locations in ME, NH, VT, RI, MA, and FL.
UPP's Vermont team currently manages 18 parking properties in downtown Burlington, including commercial garages, flat lots, and hotel operations. UPP has over 85 years of parking management experience on their executive team and will help plan and manage parking for the BTC redevelopment
- Dunkiel, Saunders, Raubvogel & Hand - a Burlington law firm, with deep expertise in permitting and City approval processes, will guide the project during the Development Review Board and related reviews. Dunkiel’ s experience includes helping to guide the City of St. Albans Downtown Revitalization project, and permitting for significant affordable housing, renewable energy, and other development projects across Vermont.
- Hallam – ICS - is an employee-owned 90-person engineering and automation company, established in downtown Burlington 35 years ago, with deep roots in this community. They engineer their client’s goals for mechanical, electrical, and process (MEP) systems into functional, high-performance systems. Clients include Burlington Community Health Center, Burlington Electric Department, Burlington International Airport, Champlain College, Efficiency Vermont, University of Vermont and University of Vermont Medical Center (formerly Fletcher Allen Health Care). They are the proud recipients of the 2016 Vermont Business Growth Award and the Governor’s Excellence in Worksite Wellness Award.
- Elizabeth Miller PLC - Liz provides organizations and institutions with strategic management and legal consulting solutions in Vermont and New England. Elizabeth has over 20 years of experience in the legal field representing corporate and individual clients. She led the State’s energy and telecommunications departments, as well as served as the Governor’s Chief of Staff. Her experience will be critical in moving forward the redevelopment processes.
- Katherine Montstream – Katharine Montstream is a landscape painter from Burlington Vermont. She first found the shores of Lake Champlain shortly after graduating from the
University of Colorado in Boulder. Her favorite painting subjects are the lake, Camels Hump and the abandoned Moran Plant. Katherine will be commissioned to create the new Burlington Town Center’s first piece of art.
- Doreen Kraft – Burlington City Arts - Led by Doreen Kraft, Burlington City Arts’ (BCA) mission is to nurture a dynamic environment through the arts that makes quality experiences accessible to a wide audience. They do this by offering arts education opportunities; serving as the City's cultural planner; fostering partnerships among the arts, education, human service, and business communities; and supporting Vermont artists. BCA will be an integral part of the redevelopment’s own artistic culture and needs.
The Burlington Town Center redevelopment will eliminate the outdated indoor mall currently onsite and create a connected, vibrant neighborhood where the community can shop, eat, live, work, learn and play. This mixed-use Priority Housing Project will bring 274 new apartments, two new public streets, new office and retail space, and many other community benefits, increasing the local tax base, creating jobs, and establishing a vibrant core in Burlington’s downtown.
According to the Economic Impact Study commissioned by Prof. Kevin Chiang of the UVM Business School, the project is expected to generate approximately $190 million in annual economic activity, supporting approximately 900 construction jobs and 1,300 permanent jobs.
Property tax receipts to the City and State are projected to increase by $2.3 million/year, and additional sales, meals, and other tax receipts also will increase substantially once the project is complete. Under zoning rules just affirmed by City voters, the project will be constructed to LEED Gold standards and will incorporate state-of-the-art storm water management. Burlington Town Center is also a lead partner in the Burlington Energy District project, and a sponsor of Burlington’s effort to create a District 2020 program to ensure all City development meets and exceeds critical conservation measures by the year 2020.
To see updated project sketches, visit www.newbtvtownctr.com. To learn more about the redevelopment project and view all documents related to it, visit the City of Burlington’s project website at https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/CEDO/BTV-Mall-Redevelopment-Process
Source: Devonwood Investors LLC 12.7.2016