BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Construction of CityPlace will take even longer now due to challenges related to COVID-19. It’s the first update since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The attorney representing the city in the project says its possible construction could begin this year but he’s skeptical. People in Burlington were not happy to hear that.
“I feel like there’s a lot of potential with what could be done with the whole mall and everything,” Burlington Ethan White said. “And it’s just a bummer to not see it come to fruition in such a long time.”
It could be another few months before we see any action on CityPlace due to the fallout from COVID-19.
Attorney Jeff Glassberg, who represents the city in the redevelopment project, says realistically construction may not begin this calendar year.
Glassberg gave an update before City Council Monday night with the goal of resetting the city’s expectations regarding the project’s timeline.
He says some of the delays are due to permit applications not being submitted prior to the stay at home order, and Glassberg believes some new challenges may arise in the coming year such as not being able to obtain commercial financing.
Some people weren’t surprised to hear the pandemic is throwing a wrench in the project.
“Just from the way, it’s impacted everything, people’s everyday lives, I sort of imagined it would be expected that this would be delayed a little bit,” Essex Junction Werner Hunter said.
Multiple Burlingtonians say they think the project is worth it, but they’re urging developers to not waste any more time.
“It’s a waste space, they need to do something. That’s a valuable space in Burlington. People need places to live and park their cars, restaurant openings, there’s supposed to be a lot happening there,” Andie Edson said. “People need to make a decision and get moving on it because it’s time.”
Councilors had a few questions for Glassberg and he said their questions will be better answered by developers themselves. He said developers are expected to face the public about this to give us a better idea of the project’s timeline.