BURLINGTON – On July 19, 2019 Brookfield Properties announced another delay for the long postponed CityPlace. The hole in the ground in downtown Burlington would remain for the foreseeable future. The Winooski has visited that future and now brings our readers an exclusive look at the proposed construction.
Our reporters traveled to July 19, 2021, where they attended a press conference regarding the pit. After two years of planning, public meetings, zoning changes, lawsuits and millions of dollars of costs (most of which were, of course, for legal fees), Brookfield has announced that groundbreaking for the revamped CityPlace would take place on August 1, 2021. The announcement included a big reveal; after careful consideration, economic analysis, and SurveyMonkeys of Burlington citizens, CityPlace will be a shopping mall.
Standing with city officials, Brookfield representatives showed a three-dimensional model of a 3-story rectangular windowless concrete structure with a 12-story cylinder that shoots at a 45-degree angle into the Burlington skyline.
The decision comes after the housing crisis in Burlington suddenly disappeared with UVM’s decision to build 12 residence halls on Trinity Campus and require all students to live on campus. Furthermore, UVM will put administrative offices in a building to be constructed in Milton for the purposes of parking.
The mall, now renamed CityStores will include:
- A 3000 car underground garage using Elon Musk’s tunneling technology (A CEDO representative noted that Burlington will never again want for parking spaces).
- An indoor ski slope to compete with those in China, Dubai and New Jersey.
- A Christmas Tree Shop.
- A vaping superstore.
- A yoga center.
- A year-round farmers market.
- A McDonalds restaurant (returning the famed exquisite culinary enterprise was a key in the city’s negotiations with Brookfield.)
- A Roots store and a Tim Horton’s to attract Canadian visitors.
- A brew pub.
- An indoor arboretum that will feature trees that were removed from City Hall Park in July 2019. (A Brookfield environmental expert indicated that in a secret agreement with the city, Brookfield had been storing the fallen trees in a cryogenic chamber, and they will be replanted in the middle of the mall.)
It was further reported that space will be set aside for a marijuana dispensary should Vermont ever legalize its sale. Brookfield’s chief spokesperson noted that the corporation has tried to anticipate all the various hopes and desires for the citizens of Burlington and Vermont and the visitors who will undoubtedly stream in to what will be the 15th largest mall in the world.
With no further appeals or litigation anticipated CityStores is expected to be finished by 2030.