Starbucks leaving downtown mall as lease expires

This story has been updated following a response from Starbucks. The Starbucks coffee shop on

This story has been updated following a response from Starbucks.

The Starbucks coffee shop on Church Street inside the former Burlington Town Center mall is closing permanently after Monday, according to an email from Starbucks.

“As difficult as this is, we must make the right business decisions for the sake of Starbucks long-term growth,” the email said. “All Starbucks partners (employees) working at that store will have opportunity to transfer to one of our nearby locations.” 

The Starbucks closure continues an exodus from the mall, which will lose L.L. Bean to Williston next summer. The mall is part of the stalled CityPlace Burlington project, an effort to bring housing and new retail stores to the downtown.

Don Sinex, co-owner of CityPlace Burlington, said in an email Friday that he had been “working to renew Starbucks until that portion of the old mall would go under (demolition) and redevelopment.”

Sinex said he successfully negotiated a one-year renewal with Starbucks, followed by a month-to-month lease, but last week Starbucks decided that with the difficulty it was having staffing the store, it would not renew the lease after all.

People wait in line outside at the Starbucks coffee shop on the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

“Starbucks says it wants to come back once the redevelopment of this portion of the old mall is completed, and of course I will work with Starbucks to achieve that objective,” Sinex said.

Project update:Redstone agrees in principle to drop lawsuits against Burlington and CityPlace

Old, tired and irrelevant

Sinex called the departure of Starbucks unfortunate, but said it’s generally what happens to an “old tired and irrelevant mall.”

“There is no economic value left in the old mall and we will now accelerate our planning to reimagine this portion of the old mall,” Sinex said.

A 'For Lease' sign adorns the door facing the Church Street Marketplace of the former Five Guys hamburger restaurant in the CityPlace Burlington mall on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021.

CityPlace Burlington is owned by BTC Mall Associates, a partnership Sinex formed with three local businessmen: Dave Farrington of Farrington Construction Co.; Scott Ireland of S.D. Ireland Cos. and Al Senecal of Omega Electric Construction.

Background:CityPlace Burlington remains locked in impasse despite new proposal from developers

The CityPlace development has been stalled for years by legal wrangling and has yet to announce financing for the project. A recent settlement with neighboring developer Redstone, however, appears to have cleared the way for the project to move forward. Sinex said Friday that Redstone dropped its lawsuits against the project about a month ago after a settlement was finalized.