282 Berlin Mall Road
Berlin, VT 05602
MARGINAL PERFORMANCE CHALLENGE
Finally, the Berlin Mall in Berlin, VT represented an entirely different sort of challenge for the New Jersey-based developer. The Berlin Mall boasts thriving anchors in Walmart (one of only five in Vermont), Kohl’s, which opened in March 2016, and the more recently added junior anchor Planet Fitness in December 2017. However, despite strong performing anchors the Mall’s inline tenants have experienced mixed results.
INNOVATIVE DEVELOPMENT SOLUTION
We were convinced that in order to survive long term in this challenging environment, a new approach was required. Taking advantage of the property’s size (over 65 acres), proximity to major highways such as Routes 89 and 62, and major employers such as the Central Vermont Medical Center, Heidenberg Properties Group entered into a unique partnership with Dousevicz, Inc. to develop 98 units of independent, assisted living and memory care units on one of the Mall’s outlots.
By adding a residential component located on land adjacent to the existing mall buildings, we will be taking a critical first step towards creating a vibrant town center where people of all ages live, work and play.
While the partnership was memorialized prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the partners received their official Act 250 Permit just weeks before the pandemic hit. While adjusting to the “new normal”, Dousevicz, Inc. obtained its Vermont construction permit for Chestnut Place (the official name of the development) in May and commenced construction in June. Additionally, the Town of Berlin recently obtained a “New Town Center” designation for the mall property, in an effort to create a walkable, pedestrian-friendly center that will include other housing, office and community uses.