Last Friday afternoon Burlington mayor Miro Weinberger announced at a news conference at City Hall Park that the city and New Moran Inc, the nonprofit headed by former Charlotters Erick Crockenberg and Tad Cooke and their partner Charlie Tipper, had failed to agree on the terms and conditions for going forward with the redevelopment of the Moran Plant on the Burlington waterfront. Weinberger indicated that the city was now exploring options for razing the building, a former coal-fired electricity generating plant that was decommissioned in 1986.
That same day, just prior to Weinberger’s announcement, the Moran team wrote the following letter to their friends and supporters:
Dear Friends and Champions,
We write with heavy hearts. Tuesday, the mayor shared that he and CEDO [Community & Economic Development Office] Director MacKay do not see a path forward with us and intend to move towards demolition of the building. We have accepted the Mayor’s invitation to collaborate on an immediate press release. We wanted to share this pivotal information with you before it hits the public media.
After working with all of you for over four years, you will surely be looking for answers as to what happened and what could’ve gone differently. You all know that NMI [New Moran Inc.] and our entire effort have been about generating positive energy together, reimagining this ruin as a living landmark. We look forward to taking whatever time is needed to meet and talk through your questions and concerns around how we’ve landed at this juncture and do everything we can to honor and sustain the positive energy we have created together.
We submitted our final proposal in December 2016 with the support of two outstanding building tenants, numerous program partners, hundreds of donors, and an award-winning professional team bolstered by a national leader in challenging redevelopment projects. The proposal earned clear support from the business, nonprofit and philanthropic communities, yet despite tremendous effort and compromise, we were not able to reach common ground. We still love the building and hope that a positive solution will come to bear for the Burlington community.
As we’ve written, we will make sure we take the time to walk through all this with you as you desire. In the meantime, please accept our heartfelt thanks for being with us for this epic journey. The creative, positive culture behind this project is due in large part to the spirit and breadth of support you all have provided.
Erick, Charlie and Tad