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  #21  
Old Posted May 30, 2012, 6:57 PM
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WPI to Build New Residence Hall



Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) announces the development of a 258-bed, 89,000-square-foot, apartment-style student residence hall at 10 Faraday Street at the intersections of Faraday, Grove, and Lancaster Streets. WPI expects to break ground for the $38 million building in June 2012, and construction is expected to be completed by July 2013. This green building was designed by Boston-based ADD Inc. to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification standards, and will be built by Daniel O'Connell's Sons of Holyoke, Mass.

http://www.wpi.edu/news/20112/newhall.html
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  #22  
Old Posted May 31, 2012, 9:57 PM
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change the title of the thread its worcester.......
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  #23  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2012, 1:05 AM
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The new WPI dorm is flying.

9-18:


11-6:


Found a study for the next building at Gateway Park. It's just a student project, so I'm not sure how much it will resemble what eventually gets built.


http://www.wpi.edu/Pubs/E-project/Av...d/VOKE_MQP.pdf
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2013, 5:21 AM
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Voke Lofts housing OK'd in downtown
OLD WORCESTER SCHOOL TO BE RESHAPED


Thursday, October 25, 2012
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nkotsopoulos@telegram.com



WORCESTER — The Planning Board has given a green light to the redevelopment of the former century-old Worcester Vocational High School building in Wheaton Square into an 84-unit mixed-income housing development.

The $30 million project, known as Voke Lofts, is being developed by WinnDevelopment, a division of WinnCompanies.

Upon completion, the 116,306-square-foot former school building will include 42 market-rate apartments and 42 “affordable” units — low-income rental units restricted to households with incomes between 30 and 60 percent of the area's median income.

Most of the apartments will have one or two bedrooms, while a small number will have three bedrooms.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of next year and take about 14 months to complete. The first units are expected to be available to rent in the spring of 2014.

The project is predicted to create about 100 construction jobs.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2012...WS/110259859/0

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Historic Elm Park building to be transferred to bank
Renovations are planned on old Fire Alarm


Saturday, January 19, 2013
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nkotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The city is preparing to transfer ownership of the former historic Fire Alarm & Telegraph building in Elm Park to Spencer Savings Bank, as well as execute a ground lease with the bank for more than 77,400 square feet of land around the building.

Ownership of the 6,735-square-foot, two-story English Tudor Revival-style brick building at 230 Park Ave. will be transferred to the bank at no cost, as stipulated in a deal the city struck with Spencer Savings and Preservation Worcester in fall 2011 for the redevelopment of the property.

Meanwhile, the ground lease will be for an initial term of 70 years, with an option to the bank for three successive 10-year extensions.

City Manager Michael V. O’Brien is seeking authorization from the City Council to take both actions. The council will take up his recommendation Tuesday night.

The Fire Alarm & Telegraph Building, built in 1925, is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been identified by Preservation Worcester as one of the city’s “Most Endangered Structures.” Spencer Savings intends to establish a retail banking office on the second floor, while Preservation Worcester will lease most of the first floor, which will contain community space and related amenities.

http://www.telegram.com/article/20130119/NEWS/101199929

I'm so glad something is finally being done with this building. It should be quite a gem when it gets fixed up again, but its rather forlorn at the moment.
http://goo.gl/maps/rOFJb
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2013, 5:39 AM
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10 Faraday on:
11-29-12


12-09-12


01-7-13
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  #26  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 10:31 PM
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2-4-13


2-19-13
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  #27  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2013, 11:05 PM
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City wants to jump-start Washington Square development
Monday, July 15, 2013
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE, with
nkotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The city administration is moving to have a new development parcel created within part of the public right-of-way of the old Washington Square rotary.

City Manager Michael V. O'Brien is asking the City Council to declare the parcel — roughly 40,713 square feet in the northeast quadrant of Washington Square — as surplus, because it is no longer needed for public street purposes.

He is also asking the council to transfer the parcel to the jurisdiction of the city manager's office for eventual transfer to the Worcester Redevelopment Authority.




http://www.telegram.com/article/2013.../1002/business
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  #28  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2013, 9:04 PM
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Developer planning 350-unit project in Worcester
Thursday, September 19, 2013

By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

WORCESTER — The Planning Board has cleared the way for a developer to pursue plans to redevelop an area off Franklin Street, not far from Union Station, into more than 350 units of housing.

By a 4-0 vote, the Planning Board Wednesday night agreed to remove Hygeia Street from the city's official map. Hygeia Street is a private street that runs between Arctic and Plastics streets.

The developer sought to have the street removed from the official map so the street could be included within the scope of the development area, according to Jeff Howland of JH Engineering, representing DOK Realty.

Mr. Howland said DOK Realty and its subsidiaries own and control all five parcels on Hygeia Street.

Those properties are among seven separate properties in that area that are part of a proposed full-scale development that would include more than 350 units of housing and more than 500 off-street parking spaces.

The seven separate properties to be redeveloped are all owned by Ding On "Tony" Kwan of Framingham, under three separate limited liability corporations.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2013...S/309199761/0/

From an earlier article:

http://www.telegram.com/article/2013...304108746/1116
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  #29  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2013, 8:45 PM
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Worcester developer adds parking spaces, bypasses zoning board
Monday, September 30, 2013

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

WORCESTER — The developer of a proposed 350-unit housing complex off Franklin Street, near Union Station, has bypassed the need to obtain a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals by significantly increasing the number of off-street parking spaces for the project.

DOK Realty LLC, the developer, had petitioned the zoning board for variance because the off-street parking originally planned for the project was 278 spaces short of what is required under the city's zoning ordinance.

But the developer has since decided to add another level to the parking garage that will be built as part of the project, as well as add a 50-space surface parking lot on Arctic Street.

In total, the project now calls for 750 off-street parking spaces, which exceeds city zoning requirements. On-street parking would be available on Arctic and Plastics streets.

With the developer no longer needing relief from off-street parking requirements, the zoning board Monday night granted the developer's request to withdraw his petition for a variance and special permit.

As a result, the project will next go before the Planning Board for review.

The area to be redeveloped encompasses seven separate properties with a combined size of roughly 112,532 square feet. It is bounded by Franklin Street to the north, Plastics Street to the east and Arctic Street to the west.

All seven properties are owned by Ding On "Tony" Kwan of Framingham, under three separate limited liability corporations.

The site of the proposed eight-story building is within walking distance of Union Station, Washington Square and the Canal District. It is also adjacent to the elevated portion of Interstate 290 and next to part of the CSX freight terminal on Franklin Street and the Franklin Street fire station.

The upper six floors of the building will house 350 apartment units, while a three-level, 700-space parking garage will be below it. The garage will have a level below grade and two levels above.

The city's zoning ordinance requires two parking spaces per unit for new housing construction.



http://www.telegram.com/article/2013...S/309309604/0/

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Neighbors hail plan for new WRTA facility on Quinsigamond Avenue
Thursday, October 10, 2013

By Alli Knothe, TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

WORCESTER — It's full steam ahead on the Worcester Regional Transit Authority's next big project.

The authority, which operates the local bus system, will use $60 million in federal and state funding to construct a new facility on Quinsigamond Avenue that will house operations for its fleet of buses and vans.

A handful of residents were among a group of about 20 people at an hourlong meeting Wednesday at the Green Island Neighborhood Center, which is just around the corner from the proposed site.

WRTA representatives responded to residents' concerns about how the facility would affect traffic and noise in the neighborhood, and the persistent flooding that has plagued the area for decades.

"I've been in agreement since 2010, since the negotiations started," said Kent Bailey of Sigel Street. A resident of the neighborhood for about 15 years, he said the facility would boost the neighborhood by providing additional jobs since workers will use local restaurants and shops.

While WRTA officials said they would take every measure to ensure that the facility does not add to the flooding, they are not responsible for solving that problem for the neighborhood.

However, District 4 City Councilor Sarai Rivera said she is hopeful the new facility would "make this more of a motivator" for the city to find a solution.

And as long as the flooding is dealt with and the facility doesn't add to traffic, Endicott Street resident Anne Reidy said, it would be a good thing.

Authority officials have chosen the new site for several reasons, WRTA Administrator Stephen F. O'Neil told the crowd. Those include that the landscape is flat and the site should require minimal demolition, and it is near the downtown bus hub.

The 11-acre plot sits between Crompton Park and the Providence & Worcester Railroad Co. property.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2013...S/310109822/0/

The new site is both closer to the new bus hub at Union Station, and bigger than the current bus depot on Grove street, which was originally used for street cars.

Background: http://www.telegram.com/article/2013...69907/0/SEARCH

-------------------------

First phase of Elm Park improvements complete

http://www.telegram.com/article/2013...S/309279578/0/

-------------------------

Worcester Redevelopment Authority to draft urban renewal plan

http://www.telegram.com/article/2013...S/309239904/0/

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Zoning conversation begins for former three-decker lots
Sunday, September 22, 2013
By Nick Kotsopoulos, TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

Many of Worcester's densely populated urban neighborhoods are zoned RG-5 (Residential, General); that means each lot must be at least 5,000 square feet in size and have at least 50 feet of frontage.

In fact, 11 percent of Worcester's land area is zoned RG-5, according to city planners.

But Mr. Mooradian points out that many of the lots where three-deckers once stood are smaller in size; they are typically 3,500- to 4,000-square feet with 30-35 feet of frontage. In other words, a single-family home or duplex cannot be built on those lots without some kind of zoning relief.

To address that problem, Mr. Mooradian last week petitioned the Planning Board, asking it amend the RG-5 zoning requirements so single-family homes could be built on lots that are 4,000 square feet in size.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2013...7/309229930/0/

Last edited by scalziand; Oct 12, 2013 at 9:21 PM.
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  #30  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2013, 12:44 AM
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Construction to start on Worcester spray park


Thursday, October 31, 2013
By Linda Bock, TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
lbock@telegram.com


WORCESTER — A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for the Cristoforo Colombo Park spray park at 4 p.m. Friday at the park, also known as East Park, on Shrewsbury Street.

The brief ceremony will kick off the start of construction on the $2.1 million spray park. The project is part of Worcester's comprehensive plan for water recreation amenities. The spray park will be funded with CSX neighborhood mitigation money available as a result of the rail yard expansion completed last year.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2013...09580/0/SEARCH

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Gov. Patrick, in Worcester this morning, announces QCC funding


Monday, October 28, 2013
By John J. Monahan, TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
jmonahan@telegram.com


The governor's visit
At WRTA: $14 million in state money to pay for contamination cleanup that will allow construction of a new federally funded WRTA bus garage and maintenance facility at an 11-acre NStar parcel on Quinsigamond Avenue, near Crompton Park.
At the symposium: To expand participation in the region's innovation economy as part of state's Gateway Cities development program.
At QCC: Construction of a $15.9 million, 50,000-square-foot general academic building and initial planning for a $23.1 million Science and Technology building to support growing enrollment.

WORCESTER — Gov. Deval L. Patrick spent Monday morning talking about ways to grow innovation businesses in Central Massachusetts and also announced a major expansion at Quinsigamond Community College and a state grant for a new WRTA garage that will support electric busses.

The governor recounted numerous strategic state investments in education, life sciences, clean energy and transportation in the region in his first seven years in office, during a breakfast meeting with the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.

He mentioned the increase in commuter rail service which will soon reach 20 trains per day to Boston, the start of Jet Blue passenger services at Worcester Airport next month, redevelopment of downtown with the City Square project, and construction of the Albert Sherman Research Center at UMass Medical School and WPI's Gateway Park innovation center as examples of the state's growth strategy paying off here. “And we are not done yet,” he said.

"Growth requires investment, and investments in our community college campuses and our public transportation needs will help catalyze growth in Worcester and beyond," Mr. Patrick said. "If we want to expand opportunity in our Commonwealth, this is what government must do and do well," he said. “Education, innovation and infrastructure. That's our growth strategy. And it is working,” he said.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2013...S/310289977/0/
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  #31  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2014, 2:20 PM
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Swung through town yesterday. Didn't get any pics, but the Voke Lofts are looking nice with new windows in the old highschool.
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  #32  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2014, 2:29 AM
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Board OK's 100-room hotel in Worcester's Gateway Park

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





WORCESTER — The Planning Board Wednesday night gave its stamp of approval to plans for a $10 million, 100-room Hampton Inn at Gateway Park.

The five-story hotel will be built at 65 Prescott St., adjacent to the Courtyard by Marriott at 72 Grove Street, north of Lincoln Square.

The parcel where the hotel will be built is where the Courtyard by Marriott is located.

Patricia Gates, a lawyer representing the hotel developer, said the property will be divided into two separate lots, with the new hotel having frontage on Prescott Street. The Courtyard by Marriott, meanwhile, has frontage on Grove Street.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...89781/0/SEARCH


Quinsig breaks ground on science center

By Sara Schweiger TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

WORCESTER — The sun shone brightly and so did the faces as Quinsigamond Community College broke ground Thursday on its much-anticipated QuEST Center, a state-of-the-art engineering, science and technology facility on campus scheduled to open in spring 2016.

"Even if it were cloudy, it would be sun-shiney here," QCC President Gail E. Carberry said, "because we are so excited about putting a shovel in the ground."

The $23.1 million center is being funded through a $23 million state bond and a recently announced $499,880 grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. It is the first of two phases of a capital investment for QCC funded by the higher education bond bill. A study for the second phase, a $15.9 million classroom building, will begin this summer.



http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...09665/0/SEARCH


Industrial park gets 'fresh start' from Worcester panel

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...99860/0/SEARCH


Worcester development official urges colleges to invest in downtown


By Bob Kievra TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
rkievra@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The president and chief executive officer of the Worcester Business Development Corp. today asked the city's colleges and universities to make an investment in downtown Worcester, saying a thriving central core aids the city's educational institutions.

Less than a month after closing on a $37 million financing package that will bring 1,500 Quinsigamond Community College students downtown, Craig L. Blais asked the city's other institutions of higher learning to consider it as a place to do business.

"I'm calling you to action," Mr. Blais said to an audience of 200 today at the WBDC's annual meeting at the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts. A robust downtown is a key selling point for colleges and universities recruiting students, he said.

"We need you downtown, we need you desperately downtown. In the past year we came knocking on your door, and some of you, gently, have opened the door," he said.

Last month the WBDC closed on a deal to turn the former Telegram & Gazette headquarters at 20 Franklin St into a downtown center for college classrooms, a theater and a café.

Quinsigamond Community College expects to occupy about 80,000 square feet of the 110,000 square foot building.

"Come in, the water's fine," said QCC president Gail E. Carberry.

Mr. Blais said he is hopeful that Worcester State University might also use some space in the building. The WBDC has also had talks with Clark University and WPI about putting graduate student housing downtown. Becker College last year leased space for 70 students at 76 Franklin St.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...09716/0/SEARCH


Worcester Tennis Club property for sale

By Aaron Nicodemus TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

WORCESTER — The historic Worcester Tennis Club has put its Sever Street property up for sale, although the club has promised its members that the 2014 season will open as scheduled.

The property at 69 Sever St. is listed for sale at $750,000. Consisting of just over one acre, the property has seven red clay tennis courts and a clubhouse. There are no parking spaces on the site, nor are there any lights for night play.

Timothy E. Gray, the club's treasurer and immediate past president, said the club has about 100 households and about 150 individual members. The Sever St. site, while steeped in nostaglia and history, "may have outlived its usefulness," he said.


http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...29667/0/SEARCH

Note: This is a large site in a residential neighborhood adjacent to Becker College, and near WPI. It would be great for an expansion for Becker.


Worcester developers confident: If they build renters will come

By Lisa Eckelbecker TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

"We just rented our last unit at 13 Dartmouth St.," said Mr. DiRoberto, a rental expert at the real estate agency Re/Max Advantage 1 in Worcester, referring to a building renovated into loft-style apartments. "Every unit that was done, we had a renter lined up."

It's that kind of demand that has some developers scrambling to renovate and build new rental dwellings in Worcester, even as the city's home-buying market slowly recovers from the recession of the 2000s.

WinnCompanies of Boston is renovating the former vocational high school at 34 Grove St. into 84 loft-style apartments known as the Voke Lofts, half of them reserved for low-income renters. City officials have reported discussions to bring housing development to CitySquare, the downtown development backed by an investment arm of Hanover Insurance Group Inc.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...39947/0/SEARCH


$37M deal to rehab former T&G building is completed

WORCESTER — A coalition of community banks, quasi-public agencies and a local development group has wrapped up a complicated $37 million financing deal to turn the former Telegram & Gazette headquarters into a downtown center for college classrooms, a theater and a café.

Financing for the project, led by the nonprofit Worcester Business Development Corp., was so intricate it was only completed in the last two weeks, even though the WBDC bought the property at 20 Franklin St. in 2011.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...89929/0/SEARCH


Worcester may keep some off-street parking requirements

WORCESTER City planners are taking a second look at abandoning off-street parking requirements for new development. The city administration last year proposed a Commercial Corridors Overlay District, which would have permitted developers to not supply off-street parking within the district, which covered downtown and all or parts of Highland Street, Chandler Street, Shrewsbury Street, Main Street, Grafton Street, the Canal District, Pleasant Street and Gateway Park. Planners are also exploring the potential of tailoring the requirements to individual neighborhoods within the district.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...79871/0/SEARCH

Last edited by scalziand; Apr 11, 2014 at 3:14 AM.
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  #33  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2014, 5:55 PM
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Here's the Voke Lofts coming along.






More on the Worcester Hotels:

Council OKs Tax Breaks For 2 Worcester Hotels
DECEMBER 17, 2013
MICHAEL NOVINSON


A rendering of the CitySquare site. The $28 million, 158-room Renaissance by Marriott Hotel will occupy the site in purple, while a $60 million, 350-unit market rate housing complex would occupy the site in orange. In 2013, Saint Vincent moved into the site in light pink and Unum moved into the site in yellow.


The City Council unanimously approved tax breaks Tuesday for a $38 million project to build two Downtown area hotels -- a Renaissance by Marriott at CitySquare and a Hampton Inn at Gateway Park.
The 158-room Renaissance by Marriott would create the equivalent of 90 full-time jobs, according to plans filed by the developers, while the 100-room Hampton Inn would create 30 full-time equivalent positions.

http://www.wbjournal.com/article/201...rcester-hotels
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  #34  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2014, 2:15 PM
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In first expansion across Main Street, Clark University plans new education center
By Sara Schweiger TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Sunday, July 20, 2014

WORCESTER — You could call it one giant LEEP for Clark University.

In its first expansion across Main Street, the college is planning to build a $19 million, 35,000-square-foot Alumni and Student Engagement Center that will house its Liberal Education and Effective Practice Center. The project, across from the university's main gate at 950 Main St., will also include expanded parking, upgraded lighting, a plaza and green space.

Jack Foley, vice president for government and community affairs at Clark, described the project, which received Planning Board approval on July 16, as being an anchor project in coordination with others happening in Main South, including improvements at University Park and streetscaping planned for several blocks near the university.


http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...09919/0/SEARCH

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Worcester OKs CitySquare change
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Friday, June 27, 2014



WORCESTER — A building planned as the anchor for a CitySquare parcel will be located along Mercantile and Front streets rather than set back as previously proposed, according to an amendment to the site plan approved by the Planning Board.

Also, a park area will be created to the east of that building, running to where the yet-to-be-created Eaton Place would be located.

The parcel, known as Parcel F, is above the site of the proposed underground parking garage. The parcel is bounded by Front Street, Mercantile Street, the Unum building, the St. Vincent Cancer and Wellness Center and the East parking garage, and had been approved in 2005 for a multistory building. Those previously approved plans had called for the building to be set back from Mercantile Street, with a courtyard in front of it.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...79817/0/SEARCH

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Voke Lofts fulfills high hopes
Sunday, June 29, 2014
By Charlene Arsenault CORRESPONDENT

WORCESTER — Mary O'Malley joked that she would have loved to have had a state-of-the-art kitchen in her office when she was an assistant principal at Worcester Vocational High School. Now, a sleek kitchen is part of what was once her office unit in the new Voke Lofts, the 116,306-square-foot mixed-income residential building that is the former vocational school.

With a temporary license to open in hand, some residents have moved in, and 70 percent of the units are already leased. While the prices vary depending on the unit, Mr. Winn said, a one-bedroom apartment at market rate is roughly $1,200, and a unit with a den would run $1,600.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...99968/0/SEARCH

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Worcester skybridge project might resurface
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

WORCESTER — Is the downtown skybridge project being revived?

City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. says he cannot give a definitive answer one way or another. What he will say, though, is a qualified "maybe."

The so-called skybridge, now a vision, is an elevated pedestrian walkway that would connect the Hilton Garden Inn with the DCU Center and the municipal parking garage on Major Taylor Boulevard.

The project's design called for a glass-enclosed, elevated walkway — 274 feet long and 10 feet wide — connecting the third level of the 1,000-space parking garage, sloping gently down to the second floor of the 200-room Hilton Garden Inn across the street, and rising again to hook up with the second floor of the DCU Center.

The bridge was to be supported by 13 pairs of cables radiating from the top of a 150-foot pylon next to the hotel.

The original estimate, from when the project was first broached in 2003, pegged the cost of the skybridge at about $2.5 million.

But after publicly bidding the project three times, and with cuts in scope and value engineering, the lowest bids the city could get for the project came in at around $8 million.


http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...49875/0/SEARCH

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SpencerBank retaining wall at Elm Park raising concern
Thursday, July 10, 2014
By Nick Kotsopoulos and Alli Knothe TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF


A 225-foot retaining wall is being built at the former Fire Alarm and Telegraph Building, which is being renovated for a bank. (T&G Staff/CHRISTINE PETERSON)

WORCESTER — Boston's Fenway Park is known for its "Big Green Monster" in left field, and Worcester's Elm Park now has what some people feel is a "Big White Monster."

The Worcester counterpart is a two-story, two-tier terraced concrete block retaining wall that has been constructed as part of the renovation of the historic former Fire Alarm and Telegraph Building at 230 Park Ave.

The 225-foot long retaining wall was built after part of the hill behind the Fire Alarm and Telegraph Building, which is being renovated into a bank, had to be excavated to make way for a 40-space parking lot. To keep the rest of the hill stable, two retaining walls have been built in a terraced fashion, giving the appearance of one giant wall.


http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...09522/0/SEARCH

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WRTA faces big price tag for site cleanup

QUINSIG AVE. PROPERTY NEEDS WORK
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
By Alli Knothe TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF


A rendering of the planned WRTA garage and dispatch center.

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Transit Authority is anticipating a roughly $10 million price tag for a contractor to remove 45,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil before construction can move forward on a new dispatch center and garage on Quinsigamond Avenue.

That price is an estimate, said WRTA Administrator Stephen F. O'Neil, adding that the agency has yet to accept bids for the project. He said the site is in bad shape, with contaminated soil between 1 and 12 feet below the surface of just about the entire 11-acre lot.

"It's more than what we expected," he said after an Advisory Board's Building Committee meeting on Tuesday morning.

The authority will be issuing a final environmental report by early August and hopes to attract three or four credible bids by the end of the summer.

Last summer, contractors told the city council that the work could total up to $15 million.

The city has secured $2.1 million from the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs as well as $14 million from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation that will go toward environmental cleanup and enhancements like solar panels.

He estimates that it will take four or five months for the environmental work to be completed. Actual construction will take about a year-and-a-half, Mr. O'Neil said, with the building slated to open in spring 2016.

The WRTA bought the property for $1.5 million from NStar last year. It had been home to a manufactured gas plant from 1870 to 1969.


http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...69851/0/SEARCH
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2014, 10:00 PM
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Ideas for courthouse: hotel, classrooms
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
By Thomas Caywood TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
tcaywood@telegram.com

WORCESTER — After sitting unused for years, the forlorn old courthouse complex on Main Street now has four suitors interested in redeveloping the buildings for uses ranging from an upscale boutique hotel to college classrooms.

The city put out a call last month for developers interested in renovating and converting the vacant court complex and got four letters of interest, all of which included a proposed housing component, said Michael E. Traynor, the city's acting chief development officer.

The four interested companies all felt that the 1950s-era district court annex on Harvard Street at the rear of the complex was configured well for apartments or condominiums, he said.

The four pitches are:

• Tala Hotels Holding of Northampton proposed an upscale boutique hotel with a restaurant and function space in the old superior court building on Main Street and high-end apartments in the former district court annex.

• SmartGrid Development of Providence proposed renovating the former superior court building into classroom space that could be leased for joint classes among area colleges. The company also proposed converting the annex to market-rate housing and building a coffee shop in the parking lot that faces Highland Street.

• RescueREO.com LLC of Worcester proposed a mixed-use development that would include residential, retail and office space.

• Brady Sullivan Properties LLC of Manchester, N.H., proposed converting the complex into between 150 and 200 upscale apartments that would lease at market rates.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...89716/0/SEARCH
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Worcester City Council renews talk of new police station
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The old Waldo Street police station was in use for 60 years before closing in 1978 to make way for a new police headquarters building at Lincoln Square.

Less than 40 years later, that once state-of-the-art building has become obsolete for police operations, prompting city councilors Tuesday night to renew previous calls for a new police headquarters, or at least renovating and upgrading the existing building.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...39535/0/SEARCH
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Over 300 apartments planned at CitySquare
Monday, October 20, 2014
By Lisa Eckelbecker TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
lisa.eckelbecker@telegram.com


WORCESTER — A private developer that builds housing has signed an agreement to create more than 300 apartments downtown at the CitySquare project area, the real estate company behind the project said.

Leggat McCall Properties of Boston, the company in charge of turning around vacant property in the CitySquare area, declined to identify the housing developer.
...
More recently, Hanover's developer Leggat McCall struck a deal with New Hampshire hotel developers for the construction of a full-service, 163-room hotel on 1.3 acres on Front Street, bought another piece of property from Berkeley Investments, tore down the last remnants of the mall and started work on a 550-car underground parking garage.
...
Housing construction would likely start the first half of 2015 and continue for two years, according to Mr. Birch. Meanwhile Leggat McCall plans to leave landscaped green space above the remaining part of the underground garage to create a site for future office construction.

Leggat McCall also is renovating a walkway between the office tower at 100 Front St. and the Commercial Street parking garage to create a pedestrian plaza. The $40 million garage project, the $3.5 million plaza renovation and more street work are being funded with proceeds from a city bond offering that is due to be repaid from new tax revenue in the CitySquare area.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...09892/0/SEARCH

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Plan to convert Brown Square fire station to home gets nod

By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com



Brown Square Fire Station.
(T&G File Photo/JIM COLLINS)

WORCESTER — The former Brown Square fire station, which has been largely vacant since its closing in 2008, is on a track for a new lease on life, albeit a much different use.

The Historical Commission Thursday night unanimously approved the request of a Paxton couple to waive the city's demolition delay ordinance so they can renovate the two-story brick building into their new home back in their old neighborhood.

Paul M. Curci and his wife, Annette, are buying the 5,000-square-foot fire station from the city, and Mr. Curci said it is their intention to restore the Brown Square neighborhood landmark to its former glory. In doing so, the Curcis are planning to have a number of repairs and improvements done to the exterior of the building so it more accurately reflects what it looked like when it was built in the 1890s.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...79666/0/SEARCH
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Hanover Theatre buys building next door
Thursday, October 9, 2014
By Lisa Eckelbecker TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
lisa.eckelbecker@telegram.com


The Hanover Theatre For the Performing Arts, far right, has purchased the corner building next to the theater on Southbridge Street for future expansion. (T&G Staff/RICK CINCLAIR)

WORCESTER — The Hanover Theatre has purchased a vacant neighboring building for $1.1 million and plans to redevelop the structure for offices, studios, meeting space and a restaurant.

Theater officials expect the total cost of buying and renovating the three-floor structure to hit $3.5 million and have already quietly raised about $2 million for the project from area charitable organizations.

Theater President and Chief Executive Troy R. Siebels said the theater has more demand for meetings and children's programs than it can meet, but also wants to use the 22,000-square-foot building at 551 Main St. to give theater customers a better experience when attending shows.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...99858/0/SEARCH

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Michael Traynor is named chief development officer for Worcester
Monday, November 17, 2014
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com


WORCESTER — City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. has named Michael E. Traynor as the city's chief development officer on a permanent basis.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...79580/0/SEARCH

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Updated plan would boost number of Union Station apartments, cut parking
Saturday, November 15, 2014
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com



WORCESTER — The developer of an already-approved 350-unit apartment complex off Franklin Street, near Union Station, now wants increase the size of the project to 600 units.

DOK Realty LLC has petitioned the Planning Board for an amendment to the site plan that was approved in January for a $35 million apartment complex project, known as Franklin Street Lofts, to incorporate additional land that has since been acquired by the developer.

According to records at the Worcester Registry of Deeds, an 11,380-square foot property at 274 Franklin St., adjacent to the original development site on Arctic Street, was acquired for the project on Aug. 7 for $1.07 million.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...59832/0/SEARCH

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Worcester, hotel developer have deal on Washington Square site
Friday, November 14, 2014


By Aaron Nicodemus TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Aaron.Nicodemus@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The Worcester Redevelopment Authority has agreed to sell a piece of land on the Washington Square rotary to a Fall River hotel developer.

The WRA agreed Friday morning to sell the 40,713 square foot parcel to the First Bristol Corp. of Fall River for $150,000. Terms other than the sale price still need to be hammered out, according to the authority's acting chief development officer, Michael E. Traynor.

First Bristol has proposed building a 120-room, six-story hotel on land that once housed the K.J. Baaron's liquor store on Summer Street. The property owned by the WRA used to be part of the rotary, but became surplus land when the rotary was reconfigured. The land stretches from the edge of the former liquor store's parking lot on Summer Street, across the rotary, underneath Interstate 290, to Shrewsbury Street.

The WRA will request that First Bristol Corp. assume all costs to clean up the parcel, should any contamination be found; that it promise to make a certain percentage of full-time jobs at the hotel available to Worcester residents; and that it hire a minimum percentage of local contractors to build the facility.

First Bristol Corp. has told city officials that it will spend $15 to $18 million on the construction. Representatives of First Bristol Corp. will meet with the Shrewsbury Street Neighborhood Association next Thursday, Nov. 20, to further discuss their plans. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Mt. Carmel Recreation Center, located at 28 Mulberry St.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...49736/0/SEARCH

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Demolition of coal silos to clear way for redevelopment
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
By Thomas Caywood TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
tcaywood@telegram.com

SOUTH WORCESTER INDUSTRIAL PARK

One of the four silos on Southgate Street shows the faded logo of the New England Coke Co.. (T&G Staff/PAUL KAPTEYN)

WORCESTER — The city is close to signing a demolition contract on four derelict coal silos looming over Southgate Street, at the site of a snakebitten business park long planned for Main South.

The silos are the last relics still standing at the site of the future South Worcester Industrial Park, a city development plan that has lurched forward and then stalled again several times over the years.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...19549/0/SEARCH

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VA to open new facility at UMass Medical campus in Worcester
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
By Steven H. Foskett Jr. TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
steven.foskett@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The Veterans Administration will open a new facility on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, officials are expected to announce at a Veterans Day event Tuesday.

Gov. Deval L. Patrick and U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, along with medical school officials, will discuss the initiative at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

According to the VA Central Western Mass. Health Care System, a research annex will be constructed on medical school property. The new annex will house the VA's audiology, optometry and podiatry clinics.

The current 25,000-square-foot VA facility at 605 Lincoln St. is not large enough to provide sufficient specialty services, causing veterans to drive to other parts of the state for health care needs, VA officials said.

Those familiar with the proposal said the announcement focuses on a land swap involving the state transportation department.

The Massachusetts Highway Department District 3 office at 403 Belmont St. (Route 9), abutting the medical school campus, is scheduled to move to 40 Quinsigamond Ave. That relocation is part of a broader project in the works for years involving a new maintenance facility for the Worcester Regional Transit Authority.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...19854/0/SEARCH

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Old Posted Nov 24, 2014, 9:57 PM
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Washington Square hotel plan outlined
NO TAX BREAK SOUGHT
Friday, November 21, 2014


A rendering of the proposed hotel at Washington Square in Worcester

By Steven H. Foskett Jr. TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
steven.foskett@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The six-story, 120-room hotel envisioned for a plot of land at the Washington Square rotary will be based on the "extended stay" model and will cater to professionals, developers told the Shrewsbury Street Neighborhood Association Thursday night.



http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...19810/0/SEARCH

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Opinion
A vision for the old courthouse
Monday, November 24, 2014

On a recent commuter-rail trip home from Boston I managed to chat up a millennial about all the development going on in Worcester. I asked him what he thought should go into the old courthouse and Worcester auditorium.

Without hesitation he proclaimed — a 'Quincy market'-esque public market/food court in the courthouse and an IMAX theater in the auditorium.

I was amazed at his quick and well thought-out answer. Not all millennials are what the media portrays them as. Now if only he could find a developer to make that happen.

Thanks for the interesting conversation, Tony.

HARRY TEMBENIS

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...49991/0/SEARCH

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The Beechwood Hotel in line for major facelift
Monday, November 24, 2014
By Aaron Nicodemus TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Aaron.Nicodemus@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The Beechwood Hotel on Plantation Street announced it will undergo a multi-million dollar refurbishment, starting in mid-2015.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...49770/0/SEARCH

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Worcester Planning Board OKs CitySquare apartments
Thursday, December 11, 2014
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com



The Planning Board unanimously approved plans Wednesday night for the redevelopment of nearly four acres, bounded by Front, Foster, Franklin and Trumbull streets, into 370 units of market-rate housing.

The plans call for construction of two separate five-story buildings — one 263,497 square feet with 239 apartments and the other 142,130 square feet with 131 apartments.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...S/312119821/0/

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Downtown Worcester building rehab proposed
Friday, December 5, 2014
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com


A group controlled by the Krock family owns the two buildings that make up 320-358 Main St., at the corner of Walnut Street, Worcester, shown in 2011. (T&G Staff File Photo/RICK CINCLAIR)

WORCESTER — The Central Building, a vacant downtown landmark that dodged a date with the wrecking ball last year, is on track to be brought back to life through a $26 million mixed-use redevelopment.

The Historical Commission was informed Thursday night that 332 Main Street Associates, a group controlled by the Krock family, which owns the eight-story former office building on Main Street, wants to completely rehabilitate the property.

Taya Dixon, a senior consultant with Epsilon Associates Inc., said preliminary plans call for a mixed-used development, with storefronts on the street level and housing throughout the rest of the building.

She said the owner is tentatively looking at converting the former office space in the building, which was constructed in 1925, into 59 units of housing.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2014...S/312059770/0/
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Developer eyes former Boys Club for offices
Friday, January 30, 2015
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com


The former Lincoln Square Boys Club in Worcester. (T&G FILE PHOTO /PAUL KAPTEYN)

WORCESTER — Winn Development Co. has entered into an agreement with the city that temporarily gives it exclusive developer status for the potential acquisition and redevelopment into office space of the former Lincoln Square Boys Club.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...09504/0/SEARCH

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Some business districts in Worcester could see relaxed parking rules

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER — Some 16 months after it was initially broached and subsequently reworked, the city finally has in place an ordinance intended to stimulate redevelopment in commercial areas outside the downtown by easing off-street parking requirements there.

The City Council Tuesday night approved the creation of a Commercial Corridors Overlay District, which encompasses the entire downtown and commercial corridors that radiate from it.

They include Main Street to Webster Square, Millbury Street, Grafton Street, Shrewsbury Street, the Canal District, Gateway Park and Highland, Pleasant and Chandler streets to Park Avenue.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...49702/0/SEARCH

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Worcester lowers asking price for May Street apartment building
Thursday, February 12, 2015
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The city's efforts to sell a May Street apartment building it owns that was the site of a controversial affordable housing project has hit another dead end.

But the city is not giving up and has lowered its asking price for the property.

The four-story brick and stone building at 5 May St. attracted no bidders when the city issued a request for proposals in December.

The city had set the minimum bid price for the property at $100,000 in that solicitation.

But the discouraging outcome hasn't stopped the city from trying to sell the property.

Last week the city issued a new request for proposals for the property and has lowered the minimum bid price to $40,000.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29489/0/SEARCH
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Vacant Central Building in line for facelift
Friday, March 6, 2015
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The Historical Commission has given the owner of the vacant Central Building on Main Street a green light to renovate the downtown landmark into a mixed-used redevelopment.

The commission Thursday night unanimously agreed to the developer's request for a waiver to the city's demolition delay ordinance, so the building's windows and doors can be removed and replaced.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...S/303069659/0/
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