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Old Posted Dec 13, 2010, 11:01 PM
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WORCESTER | General Developments

City Square:

City Square is a re-redevelopment, which will restore some of the downtown street network to the superblock currently occupied by a vacant mall and a very large garage. Ground broke on the first phase in September, which includes 200,000 sqft for insurer Unum.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2010...TTERS/12020862

http://www.worcesterma.gov/city-manager/citysquare

http://www.newcitysquare.com/

Gateway Park Phase II:

Gateway Park is a life sciences and biotechnology incubator for stratup companies, as well as an extension of the WPI campus. Following the completion of phase I in 2007, the incubation aspect of the development has proved successful, with several companies requiring room to expand. Phase II is scheduled to break ground sometime in the spring of 2011.

16-year tax break urged-Office/lab is proposed

Panel supports Gateway Park $24M TIF deal

http://www.gatewayparkworcester.com/bioeng.html

Courthouse Redevelopment:

The WBDC recently issued a request for proposals for redevelopment of the old Worcester Courthouse. The property is set for auction in Jan 2011.


This old courthouse-BUILDING, LAND SET FOR AUCTION IN JANUARY


War Memorial Auditorium redevelopment?

The WBDC is also considering selling the War Memorial Auditorium and an adjacent parking lot for development.

Lincoln Square area designated for development


Last edited by scalziand; Jul 3, 2012 at 2:52 AM.
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Old Posted Dec 15, 2010, 3:17 PM
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Lincoln Sq. projects ‘a priority’
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
December 14, 2010
http://www.telegram.com/article/20101214/NEWS/12140463

City Manager Michael V. O’Brien is asking the City Council to designate the North Main-Lincoln Square area of the downtown as a priority development site.

The three properties Mr. O’Brien wants to include within that priority development site are the former Worcester County Courthouse, Worcester Memorial Auditorium and the Highland Street municipal parking lot.
...





Vote clears way for Gateway Park plan TIF

By Steven H. Foskett Jr. TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
December 15, 2010
http://www.telegram.com/article/20101215/NEWS/12150413


The council unanimously voted to designate 50 Prescott St. as a site-specific economic opportunity area and certified project. Councilor-at-Large Frederick C. Rushton brought up the item under suspension of the council’s rules.

Councilors last night said they were glad to see commitments in the $24 million project to using local labor. Councilor-at-Large Konstantina B. Lukes said residents should not be concerned with the length of the deal, which will save the developer, 50 Prescott Street LLC, about $4.4 million.

The council also referred a recommendation to designate the North Main-Lincoln Square area of the downtown as a priority development site. Under a proposal from City Manager Michael V. O’Brien, the three properties to be included within that priority development site are the former Worcester County Courthouse, Worcester Memorial Auditorium and the Highland Street municipal parking lot.
...
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Old Posted Jan 1, 2011, 4:24 PM
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Developer’s dream fails-Worcester bankruptcy sought
By Martin Luttrell TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
mluttrell@telegram.com
Thursday, December 30, 2010
http://www.telegram.com/article/20101230/NEWS/12300753


WORCESTER — David Rodriguez-Pinzon, who envisioned the redevelopment of a blighted downtown block into an “urban village” of mixed-income housing and retail space, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Tuesday, just five days after two of the four properties slated for redevelopment were sold at foreclosure auction.

...
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Old Posted Feb 4, 2011, 4:12 AM
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PharmaSphere deal canceled
By Lisa Eckelbecker TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
leckelbecker@telegram.com
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
http://www.telegram.com/article/20110202/NEWS/102020333



WORCESTER — The city has broken off a land-and-loan deal with PharmaSphere LLC, a company that wanted to build a futuristic plant-growing center on a vacant stretch of South Worcester property.

PharmaSphere failed to meet a Monday deadline to raise the necessary financing for its proposed 50,000-square-foot facility at 49 Canterbury St., according to Timothy J. McGourthy, the city's acting chief development officer.

“They're going to have to look for a new parcel and a new source of funding if they want to move forward,” Mr. McGourthy said.

PharmaSphere Chief Executive David A. Darlington said the company could not meet the city's deadline but is still seeking money for the $16.5 million project. With about $1.3 million invested in developing the Worcester site, PharmaSphere still wants to build there, Mr. Darlington said.
...
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Old Posted Feb 9, 2011, 10:32 AM
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Gateway grows-Developer picked for research building
By Lisa Eckelbecker TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
leckelbecker@telegram.com
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
http://www.telegram.com/article/20110209/NEWS/102090346


WORCESTER — Worcester Polytechnic Institute has named a developer for the next building at Gateway Park and reported that work will begin in April.

WPI said Tuesday that O’Connell Development Group of Holyoke will develop the next building, a four-story structure covering 92,000 square feet. WPI will lease a site to O’Connell Development, which will finance, construct and own the new building. Plans call for an April groundbreaking for the $30 million project, WPI said.

Gateway Park is a 12-acre office and research park off Prescott Street owned by WPI. It is home to the WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, a building that houses WPI educational space and facilities leased to companies and a business incubator operated by Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives.

About half the space in the new building is taken, according to WPI.
...





WPI and O'Connell Development Group Sign Agreement to Develop Next Building at Gateway Park
February 8, 2011
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is announcing an agreement with O'Connell Development Group of Holyoke (ODG) naming the firm as the designated developer for the next building at Gateway Park. Under the agreement, WPI will ground-lease one of the park's four remaining pad-ready sites to ODG, which will finance, develop, construct and own the new building. An April groundbreaking is planned.

"This is an important step for WPI, for Gateway Park, and for the continued economic growth of Worcester and Central Massachusetts," said WPI President and CEO Dennis Berkey. "With the ongoing support of our city, state and federal partners, coupled with the expertise of the O'Connell Development Group, we are looking forward to advancing the mission of Gateway Park as a center of research, commerce and innovation that creates a potent economic development engine for this region."

Located at 50 Prescott Street in Worcester, the new building will be a four-story, 92,000 square-foot facility designed to achieve LEED certification, with laboratory, educational and office spaces for a range of academic and corporate uses. The $30 million project will support some 120 construction jobs and 140 permanent jobs when the building is fully occupied.

"We are pleased to provide this sustainably designed, state-of-the-art office and laboratory building in Gateway Park and look forward to a long and productive association with Gateway Park and WPI," said Daniel A. Fitzpatrick, president of The O'Connell Companies. "Our investment in this new building is evidence of our confidence in WPI's vision for Gateway Park and in the City of Worcester's future as a thriving economic center."

Approximately half of the new building is already leased, with WPI taking space for three university programs: the new Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center (BETC); an expanded Fire Protection Engineering Department and research laboratory; and the graduate division of WPI's School of Business. Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI) will lease space in the new building to create an incubator for emerging life sciences companies. Blue Sky Biotech, a contract research company now located at the WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center (LSBC) at Gateway Park, will also move into the new building to accommodate its continued growth. The fit-out of the BETC and MBI laboratory elements of the new building will be funded, in large part, by a $5.2 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center awarded last year.

To date, WPI has invested $65 million in Gateway Park, a comprehensive urban redevelopment project that has transformed a blighted and underutilized area in the core of the city into a clean, thriving mixed-use park that is home to a growing range of academic, research and commercial enterprises. The first building at Gateway Park, the 125,000 square-foot LSBC, opened in 2007 and is fully occupied. Gateway's $12.5 million, 660-space parking garage also opened in 2007 and is sized to accommodate further development of the park.

The Gateway Park project has been recognized as a national model of environmental stewardship and urban redevelopment. In 2007, the park won the prestigious Phoenix Award for its successful redevelopment of an old industrial site. Also in 2007, the U.S. Department of Commerce gave Gateway Park the Excellence in Economic Development Award for Urban or Suburban Economic Development. In 2008, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts designated Gateway Park as the anchor for the state's first Growth District, a new initiative to accelerate job creation in locations that are primed and ready for development.




Council wants to woo Pfizer-Lobby for Global Center
By Bronislaus B. Kush TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
bkush@telegram.com
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
http://www.telegram.com/article/20110209/NEWS/102090394



WORCESTER — The city — hoping to build upon its growing medical and biotechnology base — may make a pitch to become part of a new worldwide research and development network being established by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.

The City Council last night asked City Manager Michael V. O’Brien to join other community stakeholders in lobbying the drug manufacturer to consider locating one of its Global Centers for Therapeutic Innovation in Worcester.

The University of California at San Francisco was the first academic institution to partner with the company. A second center will be located in New York City.

Pfizer is reportedly looking to locate at least one of the centers in Massachusetts. The establishment of such a facility is expected to generate about 350 jobs.
...
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2011, 11:45 AM
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Growth at Gateway-Life sciences pushing forward
Thursday, February 10, 2011
http://www.telegram.com/article/20110210/NEWS/102100851


Worcester continues to show exciting signs of life in the life sciences. WPI’s Gateway Park is about to sprout its next building project, a $30 million, four-story structure on Prescott Street north of Lincoln Square.
...
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Old Posted Mar 25, 2011, 3:35 AM
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Only the south wing of the old vocational high school is being demolished and the rest will be turned into lofts.

http://www.thewbdc.com/files/worcester-vocational.pdf

from Mar 5:



The 'Blackstone' mentioned in the graffitti is the Blackstone Canal, which currently runs underground past downtown Worcester. There are plans to 'free the Blackstone' by uncovering it in the Canal District around Kelly Square.

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Old Posted Apr 17, 2011, 9:01 PM
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Crumbling buildings unraveled
Thursday, April 14, 2011
http://www.insideworcester.com/asset...html/104149359

WORCESTER — Demolition continues this week at the huge Crompton & Knowles woolen textile mill complex. In the 1950s, the mill, at Tainter and Grand streets, used two 50-foot looms, the longest in the country at the time. A developer is planning to develop 93 Grand St., the company’s former main office building, into rental housing.

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Old Posted May 8, 2011, 2:38 AM
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Visions of Kelley Square-
Dreamers covet demolished site

Sunday, May 1, 2011

By Thomas Caywood TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

WORCESTER — Where a vacant and rundown auto parts warehouse once slouched, the city wrecking ball recently uncovered a swath of muddy earth, a wedge of prime real estate fronting on the city's most famously bustling and convoluted intersection.

The sudden appearance of open space in Kelley Square has Canal District advocates thinking big and conjuring up ideas to burnish the storied square's chaotic charm, all the while fearing the parcel could languish as a littered and windswept dirt lot for years to come.

“I see it as a wonderful opportunity because it has great frontage on the square facing south, which means it gets sun all afternoon. It would be terrific for some kind of restaurant with a terrace out front and parking in the back,” said Allen W. Fletcher, who owns two buildings in the neighborhood.

Hotel Vernon owner and Kelley Square history enthusiast Robert Largess, whose building also fronts on the square, envisions the city building a replica of a Blackstone Canal lock on the site.

“I see it as an opportunity to welcome people to Worcester with something dramatic, something that gets them to park and unbuckle their seat belts and see what's going on,” Mr. Largesse said.

The city ordered and spent federal grant money for the $193,000 demolition and environmental cleanup of the old General Automotive building site, where Green and Harding streets meet, after years of trying to cajole the owner to renovate the property or develop something other than a gas station or fast food restaurant there.

http://www.telegram.com/article/20110501/NEWS/105019821




Zoning change spurs rehab hope for city’s oldest mill building

Friday, May 6, 2011

By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nkotsopoulos@telegram.com


WORCESTER — Hopes to preserve what is believed to be the oldest mill building in the city have been kept alive, with the Planning Board recommending an amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance that would allow the renovation of the property into apartments and town houses.

Robert E. Longden, a lawyer representing Beacon Herman LLC, owner of 64 and 79 Beacon St. within the former Junction Shops Manufacturing District, said a key to reviving the long-delayed project is allowing single-family attached dwellings, commonly known as town houses, as part of the development project.

Currently, town houses are not a permitted use within an Adaptive Reuse Overlay District, such as the one that was approved in 2004 for the redevelopment of 64 and 79 Beacon St. in the Main South area.

Plans for the vacant, historic mill building at 64 Beacon St. originally called for renovating it into 181 apartment units. But the project has stalled for a variety of reasons since 2004, even though the Planning Board extended its approval for it in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Mr. Longden said there is a purchase-and-sale agreement with a potential new developer, Legacy Park Apartments LLC, which wants to increase the scope of the project by having 193 residential units, and including town houses as part of the overall development.

http://www.telegram.com/article/20110506/NEWS/105069802
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Old Posted May 8, 2011, 4:32 AM
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these are certainly inspiring posts. I imagine that many things are possible for a dedicated site such as that. Likely, given the nature of work the city wrecking ball had to singlehandedly go through leading up to the eventual demo and clearing the ground, it may have been alongside a barrage of directives as well as complaints about the noise, dust, and dirt, in many directions from nebulous sources. If finally acknowledged after all of this difficult work as having at least some value, chances are the developers will not be in a great rush to put up something immediately; if the city has any sense it surely will recognize that the work of opening up a location for development instead of building only upon prime lots is an extensive, exhausting and comparatively thankless task. It deserves at least a bit of appreciation for this, IMHO.
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Old Posted Jul 31, 2011, 3:22 PM
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Anna Maria, WPI among colleges experiencing construction boom
Sunday, July 24, 2011
By Noman Khanani


A $53.2 million recreation center takes shape at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The building is expected to be completed next summer. (T&G Staff/RICK CINCLAIR)







Other members of the Colleges of Worcester Consortium have been taking advantage of opportunities generated by a soft market, and nearly every school has a project in the construction or planning phase.

WPI began construction of its $53.2 million recreation center in May 2010 with hopes to have it done by next summer. MassDevelopment issued $56 million in tax-exempt bonds on behalf of the college. Cardinal Construction Inc. is under contract for the design and construction of the building, which will include a 29,000-square-foot gymnasium, a 25-meter competition swimming pool and specialized spaces.

“Generally, it's a better time to build for colleges because there's more competition,” said Fred DiMauro, WPI's assistant vice president of facilities. When construction firms are desperate for work, they are more willing to lower their margin of profit, said Mr. DiMauro.

Assumption College has the 8,800-square-foot Campus Ministry Center under construction. Lauring Construction is building the $3.9 million center, which is expected to be done by December. The old ministry center burned down 18 years ago.

Among other projects, Quinsigamond Community College recently renovated its old library, which was being used for storage space, into office space.

The College of the Holy Cross will have its 11th dormitory on campus completed by next month. The 156-bed dormitory will cost the school $20 million and house mostly seniors. The school also has been landscaping outside the Hogan Campus Center this summer as it seeks to beautify the busy crossroads of its campus.

Last month, construction workers topped off the highest level of the $400 million Albert Sherman Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, which is scheduled to open in late 2012. The 500,000-square-foot facility will double the medical school's research space.

And in Leicester, Becker College broke ground June 10 on a new $9 million campus center being built with money from a fundraising campaign.

Lastly, Worcester State University is in the process of planning for a $45 million athletic wellness center and a dormitory for 300 students. No timelines have been set for either project.

http://www.telegram.com/article/20110724/NEWS/107249967




Run-down DPW acreage could be opened for redevelopment
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nkotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The Department of Public Works is looking to relocate much of its Shrewsbury Street operations because of the deficient condition of its aging buildings and facilities there.

That, in turn, could open up valuable acreage in the heart of the Shrewsbury Street neighborhood to redevelopment — something that residents and business owners in that part of the city have been aggressively pursuing for more than 25 years.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2011...25/1003/NEWS03

Last edited by scalziand; Jul 31, 2011 at 3:26 PM. Reason: link fu
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Old Posted Oct 2, 2011, 9:04 PM
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O'Brien gives update on CitySquare

City Manager Michael V. O’Brien says he continues to work closely with the parties involved with the CitySquare redevelopment project about its further build-out.


He told the City Council last night he hopes to come before it within the next two months regarding plans for a residential development and a full-service hotel.

Mr. O’Brien said momentum continues on CitySquare despite the stagnant economy.

He said the demolition of portions of the former Worcester Common Outlets mall and the parking garage are complete, allowing for work to begin on the parcels where the Unum office building and St. Vincent Hospital cancer center will be built.

"I continue to work very closely with (the CitySquare developer) and due diligence is currently being done for a residential component and a full-service hotel," the manager said. "I expect to come before the City Council in the next few months about these plans.

"In this economy, just to have these conversations ongoing is very promising," he added.


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Old Posted Jan 7, 2012, 9:02 PM
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While I was away, the first building in CitySquare was topped out.

Ceremony ‘tops off' Unum site
Thursday, January 5, 2012

By Priyanka Dayal TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

WORCESTER — Within seconds, the last piece of steel was plucked from the ground, pulled seven stories high and placed atop the steel structure that is becoming downtown's newest landmark.

The beam, lifted into place before a crowd of people yesterday, completes the steel frame for the building in CitySquare that will house the offices of Unum Group, a disability insurer.

Workers and local dignitaries signed the beam before a crane pulled it up and into place. The “topping off” ceremony marked another step in the progress of CitySquare, a demolition and construction project that languished for years until it was revived in 2010.
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Old Posted Jan 10, 2012, 11:59 PM
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I'll just post this to add some diversity, and get people to come to this thread whos names aren't Scalziand. The only thing I know about Worchester is that some episodes of WWF Raw is War took place live in the town/city. Edge and Christian (wrestlers) totally dissed the city.
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2012, 9:57 PM
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I somehow mispelled the name of the thread It's actually 'Worcester'. Oops.

Thanks for commenting

The second Gateway Park building is coming along nicely:


Another school downtown, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is expanding its Lincoln Square building.


I'll get pics of the new Unum building downtown once it warms up a bit. (It was 5 degrees F this morning!)
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Old Posted Mar 21, 2012, 6:02 PM
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A new central bus hub is to begin construction soon in an unused parking lot to the west of Union station.

http://www.worcestermag.com/city-des...118102239.html


New upperclassman dorms to be constructed on Grove St.

http://towers.wpi.edu/read/3646/75-g...ct-to-commence

Anybody else have any knowledge of upcoming construction projects in Worcester?
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Old Posted Mar 23, 2012, 4:07 AM
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The specific plans for the bus hub are new to me, and look like a good idea. More on it:
http://www.telegram.com/article/20120312/NEWS/120319947

The survey that I got about the Grove street dorm was basically to determine the sizes of the units. Interestingly, after the housing lottery was over this year, Residential services still had rooms left over, in contrast with several previous years after the most recent dorm on Boynton street was built.

Here's an old factory that's going to be turned to apartments.
http://www.telegram.com/article/20120301/NEWS/120309976

Worcester State University is going to build another dorm by 2014 and a gym in 2015.
http://www.telegram.com/article/20120306/NEWS/103069980

Last edited by scalziand; Mar 23, 2012 at 4:24 AM.
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Old Posted Mar 23, 2012, 4:26 AM
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The Unum building has been topped out for several months now.

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Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 3:20 AM
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Downtown visions
Development corporation begins to sketch out plans for city's core


By Bronislaus B. Kush TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
bkush@telegram.com

WORCESTER — With a vision of new and renovated downtown buildings joined by clean, well-lit public spaces and accessible parking, the Worcester Business Development Corp. has refocused its attention on Worcester's downtown core.

Armed with a new leader, Executive Director Craig L. Blais, and a new direction, the WBDC has cleared several large development projects off its plate.

Over the course of the next several years, the WBDC hopes to:

•Renovate and revitalize the Telegram & Gazette complex between Franklin and Federal streets;

•Double the parking near The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts by building parking decks on the T&G's Federal St. parking lot;

•Build a residential building in the newspaper's parking lot;

•See the building at Main and Franklin streets renovated into a “boutique hotel”;

•And, develop the Salem Street parking lot, now used by patrons of the Worcester Public Library, for recreational use.



http://www.telegram.com/article/20120408/NEWS/104089991

The area as it currently is:


I'm a bit confused by the reference to dirth of parking, although it kind of makes sense now that most of the ginormous Commons garage has been torn own to make way for Citysquare.
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Old Posted May 7, 2012, 2:27 AM
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Briefing: Worcester's Transportation Hub
April 2, 2012



Tomorrow, city and state officials will celebrate the groundbreaking for a new bus transfer facility adjacent to Union Station, which will replace a hub located several blocks away in front of City Hall. The three-story, 14,000-square-foot facility will house the Worcester Regional Transit Authority's offices and act as a hub for all WRTA buses.

Why does the WRTA want to move the current bus transfer hub?

In short, the WRTA and the city think it will be better for both bus riders and the city if intra-city buses flow through Union Station, which acts as a conduit for rail, taxi and intercity bus service from Greyhound and Peter Pan. Tim McGourthy, Worcester's chief development officer, said the hub will change WRTA's current status in the city as a transportation "side player."
"This location allows us to connect riders of commuter rail into direct access thru all points in the city," McGourthy said. Those connections from Union Station will become more important when promised expansions to MBTA rail service into and out of the city are realized.

http://www.wbjournal.com/apps/pbcs.d...TION/304029989
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