BURLINGTON, Vt. – Burton remains committed to opening a concert venue and other new attractions at its Burlington campus on Queen City Park Road, a company executive said Tuesday.
Justin Worthley, vice president of human resources, said a lot has happened since Burton’s last update in October, including the coronavirus pandemic and the death of company founder, snowboarding icon Jake Burton Carpenter.
“We’re actually really committed to following through this vision of the hub, really now more than ever as a way to honor him and his contributions to snowsports, to global culture and Vermont,” Worthley said. “Really, the hub is going to house everything that Jake loved.”
Speaking at a Burlington Ward 5 NPA meeting, Worthley said Burton continues to work with Higher Ground, officials in Burlington and South Burlington, and a group of concerned residents to work out the project’s details. They’re currently waiting on the approval of an application that addresses traffic and noise concerns.
Higher Ground, currently located on Williston Road in South Burlington, will still need to obtain permits before the move is official. Burlington City Council voted in June to approve a zoning change on that would allow Higher Ground to relocate to the Burton campus.
The relocation would have a big impact on Burlington’s South End, and some residents at that June 2019 meeting expressed concern.
“Dropping the state’s largest rock club in the middle of a residential neighborhood that has one residential street to transport patrons in and out… I just can’t believe that’s actually on the table,” said John Creason.
While many opposed to the relocation shared Creason’s concerns about traffic, those in favor of it felt the venue could bring more businesses and people to the South End.
“I feel this change will make the South End a more vibrant and livable area,” said Brett Smith. “When I moved to the neighborhood 20 years ago, the building we’re talking about was a weapons manufacturer. I view the contemplated uses under this amendment as vastly more favorable.”
The plan would also include a food hall with several food trucks and outdoor seating. The building is also home to Burton’s nonprofit, The Chill Foundation.