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Town Center Mall being sold

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

The expected sale of the mall in downtown Burlington will mean a significant face-lift for the area.    

But just what that transformation will look like remains a mystery.

A deal to sell the Burlington Town Center mall is set to be finalized December 16th.

The prospective new owners are planning major overhauls to the facility -- inside and out.

"If this all unfolds as I believe the new buyers are planning, it's a quite exciting thing for the city," Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said.

Mall management would not do an on-camera interview or provide details of the prospective owners plans - citing media restrictions of the current ownership group - despite unveiling architectural designs at a public meeting Thursday night.

Those plans included proposals to repurpose some of the mall's excess parking into retail or restaurant space and to upgrade the building's aging infrastructure.

Spokespeople for the Burlington Business Association say reinvestment will help more than the mall and its customers.

"This really represents a fresh start for the mall and because of the malls significant presence in our downtown and it's facing Church Street it's really great for the whole area," Kelly Devine with the BBA said.

Mayor Weinberger says the proposed changes fit with parallel plans the city has for redevelopment downtown, including improvements on Cherry Street to make it more pedestrian friendly.

"The city would certainly benefit considerably if the mall engaged Cherry St. Much more than it does today," Weinberger said.

City leaders are weighing eight other development proposals throughout the city with a total cost of 17 million dollars but only five million is currently available.

But through a tax financing tool officials say private investment in the mall could open up more dollars for those public development plans.

The final purchase price for the mall has not been disclosed.

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