A New Life for Burlington’s Moran Plant

December 14, 2018

After decades of stops and starts, Burlington officials may have finally devised a winning solution to revitalize one of the city’s most challenging public buildings.

The Moran Plant, a long-abandoned coal-fired power plant on the Burlington Waterfront, was reintroduced as the FRAME concept during City Council’s December 10 meeting.

A Fearless Relook at Moran Electric, or FRAME, removes much of the building’s brick exterior to reveal its structural steel skeleton, which would then be modified for use as an open-air pavilion to complement existing park uses.  Additional amenities, like a public skating rink or upper-level viewing decks, may be added as the design continues to evolve.

In addition to preserving a community icon, the proposed plan is also budget friendly.  The initial cost estimate for the plan is between $5.2 and $5.4 million, which is less than the cost of full demolition and tens of millions less than prior proposals to re-purpose the 74-year-old structure. Funding for the project comes in the form of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds and a $2 million loan from HUD.  TIF funds, already approved by voters, must be spent by December 31, 2019.

The fresh design was met with unanimous support from Burlington’s City Council, who praised the plan as pragmatic and innovative.  “I think it’s realistic, I think it’s affordable and I think it’s doable,” said Councilor Dave Hartnett. “I don’t think we’ve heard that for a long time.”

Freeman French Freeman was retained by the City of Burlington for the initial study. We remain committed to supporting City Hall in their efforts to achieve the best outcome for the people of Burlington and generations to come.


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