Will Higher Ground move to Burlington?

Published: Jan. 2, 2019 at 6:06 PM EST
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WCAX News has learned that Higher Ground could be moving to Burlington's South End if potential zoning changes go through.

The South Burlington music venue is in discussions to move to a building on Burton's campus, though no agreements have been signed.

Higher Ground has wanted to expand for a while now and had been looking at Winooski. It had also been considering the Moran Plant in Burlington until that plan fell through.

Burton won't name specific partners yet but tells us it has several interested parties for the space.

Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington, says getting Higher Ground would be an asset to the city as a whole and would help Burton succeed long-term.

"This is something that they are quite excited about. They think it's important to their future. And that matters a lot to me. I mean, it is, I think, a big part of the city's job to ensure that there are good jobs in Burlington. They are in a very competitive space, there are all sorts of new challenges. This is something that would allow them to use the space that they have here in Burlington more effectively, get more out of it and strengthen their company in a number of ways. So we're very open to it and we want to be a good partner as they pursue this," Weinberger said.

Next week, the city's planning commission will be voting on zoning changes to the South End. Those would include Burton's plans but also could allow new tenants to move into the Maltex building, including a bank, which isn't currently allowed.

ArtsRiot wants to expand into the next-door space. Right now, performance areas have to be smaller than 5,000-square feet, so they need a zoning change, too.

The planning commission meeting is Jan. 9. If they vote in favor of the changes, those will head to the City Council for approval.