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A comment from someone who uses the German word "wahreit" which can translate to the English "truth"?!?... English not good enough for you, Heinrich?... if you don't want to use regular English like a good 'Murican then you can just giiiiit out!!!!
Once again, opponents to this plan are made to appear to be opponents to any and all development downtown. Not really the case. They just have valid concerns about this particular plan, its assumptions and the process which helped push it through. I won't argue the overly simplistic understanding some people have of supply and demand when it comes to housing that has been bandied about through this whole process; more housing does not always mean lower prices.
My one real suspicion through this whole business: This plan started out as a promised 250 million dollar development. Then after Sinex analyzed the "prohibitive" cost of putting the parking underground he refused to do so. The cost: around 50 million dollars. This was the start of the problems because the extra layers of parking above grade created the mass and height concerns that opponents dislike and caused the developer's "requirement" for the zoning change or else he was going to walk. During that whole fight, the development investment was scaled back to 200 million bucks. Now I am seeing that's back up to 250 million? Is this correct? I just find it a little suspicious that the difference between what he would spend at first, and then wouldn't spend, and then now will spend again, is almost the same amount of money that he didn't want to spend on the parking that caused all the fuss in the first place...Classic bait and switch.
It's the right place for it... Jeff Schulman will do a fantastic job shepherding the Athletics Department through this exciting time... the mayor can be gracious... there was never going to be enough space/parking in downtown Burlington for a facility the necessary size... and were South Burlington voters really going to raise taxes to make it happen at the U Mall? My only concern is what plan will bubble up for The Gateway Block; one that includes public uses? or will it be dominated by higher end housing?
I understand why he wants to create a narrative of a Progressive Party in disarray. He and his handlers are ambitious and cutthroat political operatives. It will be easier for him to get his various development projects through (and the private profits that will come for a few) if there is no one questioning them, a number of which will be announced very shortly.
Weinberger-developer, Joan Shannon-real estate agent, this new guy Richard Deane they want on City Council? architect... notice any pattern here. It's vested interest that will be sold as "expertise."
One more reason not to like Mayor Weinberger. His arrogance grows and grows. It's bad enough that he's generally trying to transform the town into a playground for the affluent. But when you question any stance he has, you are branded as some sort of fringe reactionary. Many who questioned the Sinex Plan were questioning the Sinex Plan and its underlying assumptions and the perhaps overly rosy future outcomes on which it was based and sold to the public; not development in general. But there he goes again trying to paint anybody who disagrees with him with a broad brush. Such inflammatory and derogatory language towards a large number of Burlington's citizens who voted No to the Sinex Plan and the 22 million that is going to help pay for it is uncivil. He should apologize publicly. I have always thought he was a bit of twerp. My thoughts have been confirmed.
As a general contractor, doesn't that mean they just sort of oversee other contractors... haven't the other firms already done some minor work for this guy on this project?... my point is that these sorts of announcements makes for good PR but the proof is whether or not the actual construction is done by local people spending their paychecks locally... it sounds to me like they are going to be given a small taste of the $$ but not the lion's share of work or money... wouldn't be surprised to see that go to lower bidding companies Sinex has connections to in NYC... and I would also point out that the reporting on this is incorrect (where's Alicia Freese-she's been on point with this stuff)... I think the amount of the investment in this is now 200 million not the often cited earlier number initially thrown around of 250 million... for you math whizzes, that's a 50 million difference... which happens to be around the amount putting the parking underground would have cost... which would have avoided the need for the zoning change... coincidence?... nope...
The way the mayor and proponents of the plan as it is currently laid out characterized it as the last great hope for Burlington's future was disingenuous and misleading at best... you can't tell me there isn't another developer out there in the big big world outside of Vermont that wouldn't be willing to redevelop the mall in a manner that is amenable to the wishes of Burlington's citizenry as outlined in Plan BTV and under current zoning??... to characterize the "opposition" as somehow against progress in any form or against development is just a politically motivated lie... it's about time somebody did some due diligence and pushed back against this mayor a little bit... no one is saying don't build... just build something better... not simply bigger...
This mayor is so slick... he has momentum because of an overly rushed process... an uninformed public that doesn't quite understand the particulars of a project the mayor and his developer crony have told them is going to be the answer to all their dreams... yes... rush a vote before an opposition can organize and grow and perhaps inform the public with a counter argument or better, more appropriate options... typical strong arm tactics... I am increasingly disappointed with this mayor's autocratic style of leadership... there is one good thing... opponents will have two ways to disrupt the Sinex plan... vote down the corporate welfare in the guise of the TIF funds "necessary" for the project... or vote down the zoning change which is just thinly veiled spot zoning... no one is opposed to re-developing the mall... just not this Sinex plan... Burlington can do better than this out of state developer's idea of what Burlington should look like... large hulking and expensive... build something that adheres to the development road map outlined in Plan BTV... not 160 foot buildings... the Sinex plan is a land and sky grab for the well to do... plain and simple
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