Building renovation gets green light

The owners of this building at the corner of Chestnut and Dodge streets have received approval from the City of Burlington to renovate the historic structure for retail and short-term rental use. (Photo by Ed Nadolski)

Owners plan retail and short-term rentals

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

Plans to renovate a vacant and decaying downtown property into four short-term rental units cleared another hurdle on Tuesday when the Common Council endorsed a certificate of appropriateness to alter the building’s exterior.

The certificate of appropriateness, which the Plan Commission endorsed in August, allows applicants Mark and Christine Zusan to move forward with their vision to restore the historic structure at 256 E. Chestnut Street.

The Zusans, according to city officials, will look to renovate interior elements, rent retail space on the ground floor and operate four short-term rental units, commonly referred to as AirBnb or Vacation Rentals by Owner, on the second floor.

The building, according to city planner the Lakota Group, was constructed in 1909 and has since undergone a series of ownership changes and multiple business purposes.

Most recently, Cafe B operated out of the 256 E. Chestnut Street property until moving to the Chestnut Street loop. The building has since been vacant since.

“It’s been heavily altered over the years, including an expansion doubling the size of the building to the west and a metal screen added to the front facade in 1974,” city planner Lakota Group wrote in a memorandum to city officials. “The applicants are planning to renovate the building and restore original design elements.”

City Building Inspector Gregory Guidry noted the owners have been in constant contact with city officials, including submitting revised plans, and making frequent appearances at multiple committees such as the Historic Preservation Commission.

Guidry, meanwhile, said the owners have revealed significant plans to upgrade all facades of the historic structure.

To read the entire story see the Sept. 8 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.

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