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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Mall Developer to Buy Macy's Building in Downtown Burlington

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 12:56 PM

click to enlarge Don Sinex speaks at a press conference in December 2016. - FILE: KATIE JICKLING
  • File: Katie Jickling
  • Don Sinex speaks at a press conference in December 2016.
The man who is redeveloping Burlington's downtown mall plans to buy the adjacent building where an ailing Macy's department store is set to close in March.

Don Sinex and his partners at Rouse Properties expect to close on the purchase of the Macy's building at 67 Cherry Street in the next two or three weeks, Sinex said via email Tuesday. He would not disclose plans for the property, which is assessed at $11.1 million.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said the purchase is good news. The deal means that the site will not sit vacant for an extended period, and that a team that has already proven its commitment to Burlington with the mall makeover plan will reimagine its future, Weinberger said via email Monday.

"There is potential here, with public input, to further transform an unappealing and underutilized section of the downtown into a vibrant, mixed-use, and more accessible neighborhood," Weinberger stated.

Macy's is Burlington's only downtown department store. Last week, the struggling national retailer announced that the local store would be among 100 Macy's stores to be shut down this year.

click to enlarge The red area depicts the downtown overlay district that was rezoned to allow taller buildings. - COURTESY: CITY OF BURLINGTON
  • Courtesy: City of Burlington
  • The red area depicts the downtown overlay district that was rezoned to allow taller buildings.
The Macy's building is in a downtown swath that was rezoned to increase allowable building heights from about 10 to 14 stories, or 160 feet. Voters approved the heavily debated allowance for taller buildings after Sinex insisted he could not revamp the decaying mall without building higher.

Demolition on the outdated mall began last month and will transform the property, adding 270 apartments and condos, smaller store spaces and offices. Two 14-story buildings are planned.

The construction project at the roughly five-acre mall property is the largest in downtown Burlington's history, according to the Burlington Community & Economic Development Office.

The city has issued a request for proposals calling for a consultant who could help neighboring businesses remain viable during the construction. The deadline for responses is February 2.

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Molly Walsh

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Molly Walsh is a Seven Days staff writer.

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