Kathy O'Brien

Burlington Vermont is a Foodies Delight!

Burlington, Vermont
The Green Mountain State has it all: farm-fresh produce and cheese, nationally renowned beer and cider, and damn good coffee. On top of that, visitors have all the hiking, skiing and kayaking options they need to burn it all off. Burlington, in particular, sits in the northwestern corner of the state, along the eastern shore of Lake Champlain just south of the Canadian border. There, locals and visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to places to dine—but the Burlington Farmers' Market is one concentrated area with a bounty of fresh, locally grown produce, handmade crafts, sweet and savory treats, and meats and cheeses from Vermont's lush pastures. It is quintessential Burlington, and it’s been ranked among the top ten farmers’ markets in the country, with 39 dates a year that attract 300,000 shoppers annually who can attest to its glory. Plus, you can feel good about supporting the local economy while you eat fresh, nutritious, locally-grown food.

    Comments

    1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

    New Ideas for Essex Outlets

    Initial ideas in 2016 to add apartments and retail space have given way to plans to add a restaurant and performance space at Essex Cinema.

    "The goal here is to become a community-based center that will incorporate music, art, dining, shops," said Peter Edelman, a developer on the project.

    Edelman wants to convert the largest theater in the state into a multiuse performance center. Don't worry, movies aren't going anywhere but they will be in a shared space that will include a restaurant.

    "The connecting of people through music and food is what excites us and propels us in this project," said Eric Koval, who is calling his project the "Essex Experience."

    Last summer, the plans were all about knocking down outlets and building commercial, retail and apartments.

    "The reality and the economics of doing apartments really mandated to make it work I would have to go to a certain height, and that's not allowed under the town plan and zoning," said Koval.

    Monday, the shopping center was 80 percent full. The plan is to fill the rest of the spaces with local, boutique-type shops.

    "As much as anywhere in the United States, retail is in retreat," Edelman said. 

    The project will cost several million dollars. Edelman says using space that is already developed will appeal to locals and tourists.

    "You have to change the environment and that really is what I am doing," he said.

    The Essex Experience will accommodate up to 500 people; 400 seats and 100 spots for standing. That's what developers say differentiates them from the Higher Ground nightclub.

    The first show will be May 16.

    It's unclear what, if any, big names will perform. 

    "We are working on that," said Koval. "That's certainly the plan."

    Shopping center representatives also announced they're converting to solar energy. 

    Developers say they are the first retail center in Vermont to run fully on renewable energy. 


     

    •  

      Comments

      1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

      Burlington North Avenue Development

      Even though it is still confined to the drawing board, the new residential community proposed for the former Burlington College property is big.

      The plan so far: About 675 housing units, clustered in multi-story condos and rental apartments, will step back and down from North Avenue, many with terrific views of Lake Champlain.

      What will the buildings look like? Developer Eric Farrell pitched the latest version to the city’s Design Advisory Board.The board, as its name suggests, offered suggestions. Many took the form of questions.

       

      • How might the modern, block-like buildings proposed on either side of the 19th century orphanage building maintain the landmark’s grandeur?
      • What can be done to increase the development’s appeal to pedestrians?
      • How can the buildings and parking lots balance an urban and surburban feel?
      • Must the buildings’ shapes conform to the predictable dimensions dictated by underground parking?

      Farrell listened. In several weeks, the board’s critiques will be passed along to the Development Review Board, which submits the plan to more in-depth scrutinyIt’s not too late to make changes.

      Farrell is accustomed to change. The project, newly named “Cambrian Rise,” for about two years has been tweaked to accommodate realities in the world of finance, local geology and hydrology, neighbors’ qualms, open-space advocacy and municipal zoning.

      “We’ve seen a lot of competing interests here and I think we’ve found a sweet spot,” Farrell told board members. “I think we’ve worked out a bargain that benefits everyone.

      “I could have built McMansions here,” Farrell added. “I could have built just 50 homes here and no would be happy — except the homeowners.”

      Financially troubled Burlington College sold 27.6 acres of the former Catholic Diocese property to Farrell last year for about $7.6 million.

      The college bought the 33-acre lakeside property in 2010 for $10 million from the cash-strapped diocese in the wake of sex abuse-related litigation against clergy.

      Farrell said he has plans to rename the orphanage. He tossed out his latest choice, subject to change: “Liberty Place.”

        Comments

        1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

        International Womens Day March 8, 2018

        With the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away - there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress. And with global activism for women's equality fuelled by movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp and more - there is a strong global momentum striving for gender parity.

          Comments

          1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

          Connect with Nature!

          The mission of the Vermont Huts Association is to provide an enriching and immersive outdoor experience for everyone. By collaborating with our partners in recreation, we will create a four-season hut network across the Green Mountain State to strengthen local communities and foster a deeper appreciation of our natural environment.

          Check out our web site and see our first hut.

          When finished, this will be the first hut owned and operated by the Vermont Huts Association. Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Waitsfield, VT is currently building the hut for us on their campus, where it will be stored through this upcoming winter. We are working with Green Mountain National Forest to locate and operate the hut under a special use permit on National Forest System lands. This project is currently under analysis by Forest Service staff with an expected decision in early 2018.

           

          The most exciting part about our first hut is that YOU can help us build it. The total project budget is set at $60,000, and we’ve raised just over $24,000 as of 11/3/17. With your support, we can ensure we’re able to keep building the hut and finish it before this winter so it’s ready to go next summer!

           

           

          Learn More

            Comments

            1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

            South Burlington seeks input on Library design

            The city of South Burlington is offering 2 workshops to discuss a new City Center Building that would house the Public Library and the City Hall. Thursday Jan 18at 7pm  and Saturday Jan 20 at 10 am.

            Residents, Business Owners and other Interested parties are encouraged to participate!

              Comments

              1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

              Current Market Statistics

              November 2017 Market Statistics

              The Northwestern Vermont Board of REALTORS® (NVBR) has released its market statistics for November 2017. The information is derived from data contained in the New England Real Estate Network and covers Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.

              Changes for November over last year at this time include:

              • New Listings were up 18.5 percent for Single Family homes and increased 31.3 percent for Townhouse-Condo properties.
              • Pending Sales increased 20.3 percent for Single Family homes and 6.4 percent for Townhouse-Condo properties.
              • The median sales price was up 8.2 percent to $289,900 for Single Family homes and 0.1 percent to $212,950 for ?townhouse-condo properties.
              • Closed sales decreased 20.1 percent for Single Family properties and increased 3.7 percent for townhouse- ?condo properties.
              • Average days on market decreased 9.6 percent or 86 days for Single Family homes and increased 13.5 percent or ?84 days for the townhouse-condo market.
              • Month’s supply of inventory decreased 17.9 percent for Single Family units and decreased 15.2 percent for ?townhouse-condo units.

                Comments

                1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                Tight Housing Supply in 2017 leads to longer Homeownership.

                Despite rising home prices and a growing economy, U.S. homeowners’ mobility rate is stuck at a 30-year low as many opt to stay put rather than move to pursue job opportunities or trade up for more space.

                The median duration of owners in their homes in 2017 was 10 years, according to data soon to be released  by the National Association of Realtors. That matched last year’s duration, which, along with 2014, was the highest level since the NAR started tracking the data in 1985.

                Americans aren’t moving in part because inventory levels have fallen near multidecade lows and home prices have risen to records. Many homeowners are choosing to stay and renovate, in turn making it more difficult for renters to enter the market.

                  Comments

                  1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                  How to be a Preservationist in Vermont

                  Are you a preservationist? Here are 23 things you can do TODAY to be part of historic preservation in
                  Vermont.....

                  1.Email VT Preservation Trust

                  2.Visit a VT Historic Downtown

                  3. Have lunch or dinner in a historic building

                  4.Visit a place where History

                  5. Visit your local libtary

                  6. Attend a live performance at a Historic Theater

                  Read the article to learn more!


                   

                    Comments

                    1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

                    New Home Sales are at a High in this decade!

                     According to Bloomberg- U.S. purchases of new homes unexpectedly advanced in broad fashion last month, reaching the strongest pace in a decade and offering an encouraging signal for residential construction, according to government data released Monday.

                    Highlights of New-Home Sales (October)

                    • Single-family home sales rose 6.2% m/m to 685k annualized pace (est. 627k), the highest since Oct. 2007, a revised 645k rate
                    • Purchases in the South increased for a third month, to the fastest pace in 10 years
                    • Median sales price increased 3.3% y/y to $312,800
                    • Supply of homes at current sales rate fell to 4.9 months, the smallest since July 2016, from 5.2 months; 282,000 new houses were on market at end of October

                    Key Takeaways

                    The report showed the U.S. South region continued to recover from a pair of hurricanes. Purchases in other areas of the country, including a 17.9 percent surge in the Midwest, also climbed.

                    The number of properties sold in which construction hadn’t yet started reached the highest level since January 2007, signaling residential construction will accelerate in coming months.

                    A steady job market and low mortgage costs are helping propel demand for real estate and pushing up property prices. At the same time, it’s a hurdle for some prospective buyers, especially younger Americans and those entering the market for the first time. The average selling price in October reached a record high $400,200, probably reflecting construction of higher-end homes.

                    New-home sales, tabulated when contracts get signed, account for about 10 percent of the market. They’re considered a timelier barometer than purchases of previously owned homes, which are calculated when contracts close and are reported by the National Association of Realtors.

                      Comments

                      1. No comments. Be the first to comment.