Last week Burlington College announced plans to develop about half its land for private use, which would include 40 units of affordable rental family housing, 30 individual lots for single-family home ownership, a 120-unit building for market-rate rentals, and 75 units for senior housing. The Burlington Free Press has more:
An ambitious vision for a new residential neighborhood and an adjoining academic campus off North Avenue was presented Wednesday as Burlington College’s “master plan.” The new neighborhood would be a mix of senior housing, market-rate and “affordable” rental housing, and single-family homes. The college’s campus, which already includes the former Catholic diocese headquarters on North Avenue, would be built out with residence halls, a student center and an amphitheater, with ample green space left over. At a news conference Wednesday morning attended by prospective developers, President Christine Plunkett characterized the plan as a way to accommodate the college’s growth aspirations, and as a way to retire the debt the college incurred by purchasing the property it now occupies. That property, which extends from North Avenue to the shore of Lake Champlain, covers 32 acres — the north half of which would be reserved for the campus under the master plan, and the south half of which would be sold off gradually and developed… Plunkett introduced Eric Farrell of Farrell Real Estate as the trustees’ unanimous choice for lead developer. She also introduced representatives of Champlain Housing Trust, which would develop the affordable rental housing, and Cathedral Square, which would develop senior housing… A public-access recreation path from North Avenue to the lakeside bike path would be provided, Farrell said. The southern 16-acre tract would include 75 units of senior/congregate housing, 40 units of affordable rental family housing, 120 units of market-rate rental housing and 30 single-family homes on lots of 65-70 feet by 110 feet. These are not “hard numbers,” Farrell added, and could be revised. The city’s current rental vacancy rate is about 1 percent, said Brenda Torpy, chief executive officer of Champlain Housing Trust, so the need for affordable housing remains dire.