The second phase was originally to have been two towers of seniors' housing. I think they later stepped it down it to one tower. I don't know what role the Thomas Building played in the game plan.
The Lister's square footage is apparently 65,000, which I would imagine to be 11K a plate except for the street level, which would be 10K. It might be a slightly different configuration, I'll allow. In any event I hope TH doesn't take any more than the bare minimum. Seems like a vanity move more than anything. There's 2500 sq ft next to the courthouse going for $1 a square foot; the Lister's going rate is, I think, something like 25 times that. If they took over a third of the ground floor they'd be burning $1 million a year in rent.
On a quasi-related note, Burlington has a really novel idea when it comes to business development: They've got Tourism Burlington, Burlington Economic Development, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and the Burlington Downtown Business Association all hived at one address that's a block from City Hall.
From the horse's mouth:
"Burlington has brought the major city economic development organizations together under one umbrella to create a team that is focused on the creation of a progressive and dynamic city with a unique approach for business development services. Called “Team Burlington”, partners include the City of Burlington, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Burlington Economic Development Corporation, Burlington Downtown Business Association, Tourism Burlington, Aldershot Business Community and Burlington Hydro.
The goal of Team Burlington is to maximize the effectiveness of economic growth initiatives within the community by projecting one clear, consistent image. Since its inception in 2001, Team Burlington has undertaken a number of successful initiatives, including developing a common brand image that captures the characteristics of what Burlington has to offer, launching and privatizing of a Burlington magazine called INBurlington and in 2003 moving five of the partners into one location at 414 Locust St. Although all six members of the team have distinct mandates and achievements the Team Burlington model has received recognition across the province. The synergy of this partnership continues to stimulate business revitalization and growth. Team Burlington partners are committed to continuing to work together to better serve the community."
Team Burlington Case Study [PDF]