Physical Characteristics

This information was adapted from a report prepared by Phillippos J. Loukissas and Stuart H. Mann, Community Studies Program, The Pennsylvania State University. The report was prepared for the Office of Management, Research, and Transit services, Urban Mass Transportation Administration, Washington, D.C. Please view the full

The downtown area is a twenty block shopping and residential district bounded by major through streets on four sides. Within the CBD, the major shopping environment is located on the four blocks of Church Street from Main to Pearl Streets. To the west side of the shopping district is the Lake Champlain waterfront, with a waterfront park, a nine mile recreation path, the Community Boathouse, the Spirit of Ethan Allen tour ship, the Lake Champlain Transportation Company ferries, and the Main Street Landing mixed use development. On the other three sides are residential neighborhoods which rely on the downtown area for shopping, transportation and social services.


The downtown area contains approximately 1,604,000 square feet of building space, a hotel and several office buildings. 600,000 square feet of building space is retail based. The majority of the retail space fronts onto the four block area of Church Street. The Burlington Square Mall, provides an additional 150,000+ square feet of retail space, and has its main entrance on Church Street. At present, four other retail districts provide competition to the CBD. The University Mall, located two miles to the east of downtown Burlington, generates the second largest shopper trip frequency of all the retail districts. The Staples Plaza, and the Sears complex, are located on the eastern and southern boundaries of the city respectively. . The Champlain Mill, north of Burlington, is a rehabilitated textile mill with may specialty shops that service higher income groups. Development of an area called Taft Corners in Williston has been postponed by many permitting delays. The Lang Farm Center in Essex Junction is in the process of developing a high end retail outlet center.