- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - The City Council has given preliminary approval to a plan to redevelop the Burlington Town Center mall.

City councilors voted 10-1 Monday night to approve a predevelopment agreement for the $200 million project, The Burlington Free Press reported.

The 1.3 million-square-foot redevelopment would expand retail and office space, build up to 274 apartments and add a parking garage. It would also reconnect St. Paul and Pine streets, which were severed when the original mall was built in the late 1970s.

“What we’re trying to do at this point is take a suburban mall out of the downtown and in its stead place a mixed-use project which complements and deserves fittingly to be in a downtown,” mall owner Don Sinex told Vermont Public Radio.

The new structure would be the tallest building in the city.

One of the next steps is for councilors to approve an amendment to the zoning ordinance to allow for a building up to 160 feet high. Several city bodies, including the City Council and Development Review Board, must give final approval to the project before crews can start working.

Sinex said he hopes to break ground on the project in early 2017.

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