without this project — and given the scale
of the project, if we get it wrong, it could
actually detract from Burlington’s core
strengths as a historic, yet funky, urban
place in a fabulous natural setting.”
Weinberger noted there are several
large issues, such as the mix of low-income
housing, parking impacts and potential
public infrastructure investment, that
still need to be sorted out. City Councilor
Hartnett believes opposition to the
project will become more vocal as more
details are flushed out.
“Make no mistake,” said Hartnett,
“there are people in Burlington who do
not want this change. There are people
who will question if Burlington is ready
for this. I do sense at some point there will
be strong opposition.”
As he pushes ahead, Sinex seems
undeterred by any looming resistance.
He’s driving from Rutland to his office
on the third floor of the mall four or fives
times a week, and he’s taking meetings
with just about anybody who requests one.
Ideally, said Sinex, the entire downtown
Burlington project will be completed by
the summer of 2019.
Still, Sinex has certain, unequivocal
goals that he has to meet with the
Burlington project. While he’s quick
to point out that he has embraced this
Burlington way of doing business and
been as open and transparent as he can
be, he hints that he’s not willing to embark
on a long and costly fight if Burlington
throws up too many roadblocks.
As a real estate developer, Sinex has
more to do than just transform Burlington.
He also needs to make a profit. In the end,
Sinex will have spent more than six years
on the Burlington project, but he believes
what comes of that time and work will
benefit his firm, the city and those who
live and work here.
“I do think what the city wants, what
the people want and what I want are
pretty similar. We’re close, and if we agree
on most of it, downtown Burlington is
going to be spectacular.” A
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