CityPlace developer gets nod from city to begin groundwork

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The Burlington City Council Monday signed off on permits that will allow the CityPlace development to move forward.

The $230 million project has been stalled in recent days after developer Don Sinex failed to meet financial benchmarks laid out in a development agreement with the city. Those requirements were needed in order to receive a permit to begin the foundation phase of the project.

The council held an executive session with Sinex prior to Monday night's meeting to consider a waiver for the permit.

Sinex says delays from litigation and asbestos have hindered the project, but that they are now caught up on construction.

"We are just at a point where the project is now ready for foundation, but it's ahead of the conditions that we need to satisfy," Sinex said. "Rather than wait and delay the project, on what conditions can we pull the permit, move forward, and then no other work will occur on the site unless all the conditions and safeguards that have been previously been negotiated in the development agreement are satisfied?"

Sinex argued that there was no financial risk to the city to change the permit, but that he might take a financial hit if he doesn't get the new permit and the project gets delayed again.

At the end of Monday's meeting, the City Council signed off on Sinex's request. Officials at the mayor's office late Monday said the foundation work will move forward and Sinex will receive a permit "for the foundation work only."

Retailers at CityPlace were originally supposed to open next fall, but Sinex said last week said that's been pushed back to the fall of 2020.