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  #41  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2015, 2:25 AM
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Chestnut Place office buildings in Worcester are sold
Thursday, March 12, 2015
By Aaron Nicodemus TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Aaron.Nicodemus@telegram.com

WORCESTER — A California-based real estate investment group has purchased Chestnut Place, a pair of office buildings in downtown Worcester, for $14 million.

The new owner is Hertz Investment Group of Santa Monica, California, a privately held real estate investment group that owns 15.2 million square feet of office space nationwide.

The buildings are currently leased to Fallon Community Health Care, UBS Financial Services and Sullivan Group insurance. The two buildings have a 218,625 square feet of space.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29850/0/SEARCH

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  #42  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2015, 4:40 PM
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Worcester approves revised tax deal for student housing in Osgood Bradley building
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com


The Osgood Bradley Building at 8-18 Grafton St., Worcester ((T&G Staff File Photo/CHRISTINE PETERSON))

WORCESTER — Redevelopment of the vacant Osgood Bradley Building behind Union Station into housing for college students is finally a go, after the City Council unanimously approved a modified tax-relief deal Tuesday night for the $32.7 million project.

The revised agreement will provide the developer with less in the way of exempted real estate taxes, and the developer has agreed that if it receives more in the way of state tax credits for the project than what is anticipated, then the amount of exempted taxes will be further reduced.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...79542/0/SEARCH

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Old Worcester courthouse sold
Thursday, March 19, 2015
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The city has reached an agreement to sell the former Worcester County Courthouse on Main Street to a New Hampshire-based developer for $1.2 million, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. announced Thursday.

Mr. Augustus said Brady Sullivan Properties LLC plans to convert the vacant, historical courthouse near Lincoln Square into about 115 market-rate apartments, with 3,000 square feet of retail space.

He said the entire building will be preserved and renovated. The manager added that the company has indicated it has no plan to seek public funding for the project. He said the entire rehabilitation will be funded by private investment money provided by the company, potentially supplemented by historic tax credit incentives that may be available for the property.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...99641/0/SEARCH

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Sale of old Worcester courthouse stalled; labor group questions developer's record
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER — Plans to sell the former Worcester County Courthouse on Main Street to a New Hampshire-based developer hit a bump in the road Tuesday night, after a local labor group raised concerns about the company's track record.

Worcester Community Labor Coalition members also pressed for greater assurances from Brady Sullivan Properties LLC that at least 50 percent of the construction labor force used for the courthouse renovation project come from local companies or from qualified companies with apprenticeship programs.

"We find it amazing that our community is being asked to turn over this property to a developer with a spotty track record without the disposition agreement being available for review by the community and fully vetted by our elected representatives on the City Council," the coalition said in a statement.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...303249565/1116

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Winn Development set to buy Worcester's former Unum building
Friday, March 20, 2015
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER — Winn Development Inc. has entered into an agreement to buy the former Unum Group office building at 18 Chestnut St.

The company is eying the nearly 300,000-square-foot, six-story historic office building as potential college classroom/academic space and student housing, among other uses, according to Gilbert Winn, chief executive officer of Winn Cos.

He said commercial space will also likely be looked at as part of the overall development, along with market-rate housing.

"It's a great, safe location and has seas of surface parking right in the downtown, all available as part of the deal," Mr. Winn said. "It has easy access to highways and is central to all community and regional entities.

"It could be a perfect fit to meet the growth needs of area colleges and universities, while breathing additional life and vitality into the downtown," he added. "The building has a wonderful past and what I feel is a bright future."

Terms, price and conditions of the agreement are confidential.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...99644/0/SEARCH

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Lincoln Medical buys Liberty building in Worcester
Saturday, March 21, 2015
By Aaron Nicodemus TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Aaron.Nicodemus@telegram.com

WORCESTER — Lincoln Medical LLC of Worcester has purchased an office building on Pleasant Street owned by Liberty Church.

Lincoln Medical LLC purchased the 13,780-square foot building at 101 Pleasant St. from Liberty Assembly of God, based in Shrewsbury, for $750,000 on Feb. 25, according to the Worcester Registry of Deeds.

The building has several dentist offices as tenants, including Pleasant Street Dental.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...09544/0/SEARCH

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First bet on downtown worth a little gratitude
Sunday, March 22, 2015
By Aaron Nicodemus ON BUSINESS
Aaron.Nicodemus@telegram.com

When it comes to development — especially redevelopment — no one wants to be first.

Developers have to answer to their financial backers. They have to justify loans to banks. And since their reason for existing in the first place is to make a profit, there is always that to consider, as well.

All of these factors are impediments to redeveloping areas that have seen better days. They explain why it has taken years for Worcester's downtown, and its vacant and underutilized properties, to reclaim their past glory.

Last week, purchases by private developers were announced for two of the downtown's white elephants — the former Unum Group/Paul Revere Insurance building at 18 Chestnut St. and the former Worcester County Courthouse at 2 Main St.

These sales may be the tipping point in the slow transformation of the downtown from a commercial/retail center into a neighborhood dominated by colleges, classrooms, dorm space and student-leased apartments.

If Worcester's downtown does become a hub of collegiate life, it is time to thank the man who was first, who stepped out in front of the others, put money down and placed a big bet on Worcester's downtown.

That man is Charles F. "Charlie" Monahan Jr., president of the Mass. College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29964/0/SEARCH

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CitySquare financing amendments sought
Monday, March 23, 2015
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The CitySquare redevelopment project has so far generated more than $100 million in private investment, and about $60 million in public investment in the downtown.

With the next phase of the project poised to generate another $90 million in private investment and $35 million in public construction, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. is asking the City Council to amend the financing program established for the CitySquare project.

The amendment to the District Improvement Financing program is intended to reflect modifications made to the development plan for the underground parking change since the project was originally proposed.

The garage was originally supposed to have 1,025 spaces, but has since been reduced to 550 spaces.

Also, the garage has been reconfigured so it does not encompass as much space within the project site.

The garage is being built under the area bounded by Mercantile Street, Front Street and the to-be-built Eaton Place. Part of the garage will also extend under a small section of Front Street into part of the development where a full-service, 150-room hotel is to be built.

known as "Parcel F" — above the site of the underground garage, bounded by Front Street, Mercantile Street, the Unum building, the St. Vincent Cancer and Wellness Center and the East Parking garage.

In 2005, the building had been approved as a multistory building, set back from Mercantile Street with a courtyard in front of it.

Under the latest revision, that building will now be located along Mercantile and Front streets.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...39586/0/SEARCH

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Reliant Medical plans walk-in care center on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester
Thursday, March 19, 2015
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER — Reliant Medical Group wants to establish a "ReadyMED" center on the site of the vacant former Gallo Oldsmobile dealership lot at 366 Shrewsbury St.

Gary J. Vecchio, president of the Shrewsbury Street Neighborhood Association, said Thursday night he has met with the parties involved with the project and they authorized him to publicly release details about it.

He said the current owner of the property, Szeto Investments LLC, would maintain ownership of the 61,855-square-foot vacant lot, construct a multimillion-dollar, one-story building on it and then lease it to Reliant.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...303199493/1246

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Last edited by scalziand; Mar 25, 2015 at 5:13 PM.
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  #43  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2015, 8:49 PM
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Worcester mayor says he'll vote for courthouse redevelopment project
Monday, April 6, 2015
By Steven H. Foskett Jr. TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
steven.foskett@telegram.com

WORCESTER — Mayor Joseph M. Petty Monday said he's ready to vote on the proposal to sell the former Worcester County Courthouse for redevelopment into housing and retail space, but his stance might not be what the Worcester Community-Labor Coalition wants to hear.

Mr. Petty issued a statement Monday saying he plans to vote in favor of the $1.2 million deal struck by City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. to sell the vacant historic courthouse to Brady Sullivan Properties LLC.

"I am strongly in favor of this proposal and plan to vote in favor of it on Tuesday," Mr. Petty said in the statement. "I urge my colleagues to do the same."

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...304069607/1116

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City looks gift horse of courthouse deal in the mouth
Saturday, April 4, 2015
By Dianne Williamson
dianne.williamson@telegram.com

Marc Pinard struggled mightily to maintain a poker face during last week's shakedown session — otherwise known as a City Council subcommittee hearing — to determine whether Worcester should let a developer make a terrific improvement in a key neighborhood we've been dying to rehabilitate.

You'd think the city would have laid out the red carpet for Pinard, lawyer for developer Brady Sullivan of New Hampshire, who has agreed to pay $1.2 million for the vacant courthouse and turn it into upscale apartments. You'd think the city, knowing the gains for Lincoln Square, would have thrown Pinard the kind of party where Konnie Lukes wakes up the next morning in Rick Rushton's pajamas.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...49808/0/SEARCH

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As courthouse deal reckoning nears, activists cite lack of transparency
Saturday, April 4, 2015
By Nick Kotsopoulos Politics and the City column

Tuesday night could be a defining moment at Worcester City Hall.

Mayor Joseph M. Petty insists the City Council will finally vote then to determine the fate of the former Worcester County Courthouse on Main Street.

He promised there will not be another snafu as occurred last week that kept the courthouse item off the council agenda. In fact, there is a courthouse item on Tuesday night's agenda under the first-ever category: "Items Reasonably Anticipated" — whatever that means.

So, the stage appears set for a vote on the deal negotiated by City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. to sell the vacant courthouse property to a New Hampshire-based developer who wants to renovate the building into 115 market-rate apartments and 3,000 square feet of retail space.

Brady Sullivan Properties LLC has offered the city $1.2 million for the courthouse property, which it acquired from the state last year for $1.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...49760/0/SEARCH

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Worcester panel backs change in CitySquare fee payments
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The City Council Economic Development Committee has unanimously endorsed an amendment that would give the developer of the CitySquare project an extra year to pay for permit fees and would change one of the payment triggers.

The amendment is intended to reflect modifications made to the overall redevelopment plan, according to Heather Gould, chief of staff for the city's Economic Development Office.

The amendment would extend the expiration date of the CitySquare Project Permit Fees ordinance by one year, from June 30, 2018, to June 30, 2019.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...19676/0/SEARCH

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  #44  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2015, 2:55 AM
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City Council approves sale of old courthouse
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com


The Highland Street view of the old courthouse on the north end of Main Street to be developed by Brady Sullivan Properties LLC (CHRIS CHRISTO)

WORCESTER — The proposed sale of the former Worcester County Courthouse is a done deal.

The City Council Tuesday night unanimously approved sale of the courthouse property on the north end of Main Street to Brady Sullivan Properties LLC for $1.2 million.

The New Hampshire-based developer intends to renovate the historic courthouse, which has been vacant for several years, into 115 market-rate apartments and 3,000 square feet of retail space.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...304079539/1116
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  #45  
Old Posted May 31, 2015, 3:40 PM
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Winn gets extension for potential Lincoln Square project in Worcester
By Nick Kotsopoulos
Telegram & Gazette Staff
Posted May. 5, 2015 at 9:55 PM
Updated May 5, 2015 at 10:12 PM


WORCESTER - Winn Development Co. has received an extension from the city to continue as the exclusive developer for the potential acquisition and redevelopment of the former Lincoln Square Boys Club into office space.

In the agreement that Winn signed with the city back in January, the Boston-based company was given such status through April 30.

Michael V. O'Brien, the former Worcester city manager who is executive vice president at Winn, said Tuesday his company needs more time to do its due diligence and as a result, requested and received an extension from the city.

He did not elaborate on the length of the extension, but City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said it was for six months.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...09817/0/SEARCH

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Clark breaks ground on new alumni and student center
By Scott O'Connell Telegram & Gazette Staff
Posted May. 15, 2015 at 8:24 PM
Updated May 16, 2015 at 2:19 PM


Clark President David Angel, left, chats with Moses Dixon and Sarai Rivera before breaking ground on new alumni and student engagement center Friday in Worcester. CHRIS CHRISTO

On Friday afternoon, Mr. Angel joined university officials, city representatives and other guests in celebrating the groundbreaking for that long awaited, $23 million addition: the new Alumni and Student Engagement Center.

Announced a year ago, the planned four-story, 35,000-square-foot facility, which is being built on a parking lot across the street from the campus's main gate at the corner of Grand Street, is more than just an aesthetic extension of the college, however. The facility will house Clark’s LEEP — Liberal Education and Effective Practice — Center, campus store and administrative offices; provide classrooms, conference rooms and extra parking; and offer alumni their first ever dedicated space on campus.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...19385/0/SEARCH

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WPI opposes proposed gun range on Prescott Street
By Scott O'Connell Telegram & Gazette Staff
Posted May. 29, 2015 at 6:28 PM
Updated May 29, 2015 at 8:35 PM



WORCESTER – Lawyers representing Worcester Polytechnic Institute said in a letter to city officials last week the university opposes a local gun store’s plan to open a shooting range near its Gateway Park campus, saying it could hurt the school's ability to attract students.

Attorneys Adam Ponte and Mark Donahue from the firm Fletcher Tilton said a proposal by Justin Gabriel, owner of The Gun Parlor on Summer Street, to convert a warehouse at 170 Prescott St. into a shooting range and gun store “will negatively affect the surrounding area by reducing perceived property values, increasing traffic and noise and creating safety hazards for nearby students.” The university also has "grave concerns that the establishment of the shooting range and firearms storefront may deter potential applicants, and especially hinder recruitment efforts."

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29045/0/SEARCH


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As a member of the WPI community, I don't see this as a big deal. Thanks to a hill, the proposed range isn't within eyesight of the Gateway Park complex, and it's not like potential students visiting the campus for tours are going to run into the gun store.

Last edited by scalziand; May 31, 2015 at 7:55 PM.
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  #46  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2015, 6:20 PM
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Ground could be broken for Washington Square hotel this summer in Worcester
Nick Kotsopoulos
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER - Title issues that held up the transfer of property for construction of a hotel near Washington Square have been resolved and the project is back on track.

It is hoped that ground can be broken for the $14 million, six-story, 120-room hotel by late summer, according to Michael E. Traynor, the city's chief development officer.

While the Worcester Redevelopment Authority approved terms in March for the sale of the parcel where the hotel is to be built, it has been unable to transfer the property because of title issues.

Mr. Traynor said the 40,713-square-foot parcel assembled for the hotel is made up of remnants from six separate parcels in the Washington Square area, some of which were registered with the Land Court.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29611/0/SEARCH

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Worcester approves tax deal for $26M project in Quinsig Village
Nick Kotsopoulos
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER - A planned $26 million redevelopment project in the Quinsigamond Village area will receive a $5.4 million tax break from the city over a 15-year period.

In unanimously approving a tax increment financing deal for the project Tuesday night, city councilors said they viewed it as an investment on the city's part because the project is expected to generate at least 300 jobs and $1.4 million in property tax revenues annually upon completion.

The project will also increase the total assessed value of the existing property from $10.2 million to $31.45 million.
The project site, located at 150 Blackstone River Road, consists of 32 acres west of Route 146 and has a blighted 632,000-square-foot building.

The owner of the property is 150 Blackstone River Road, LLC, and it plans to renovate the building into a 576,000-square-foot, multi-use high bay industrial building.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29611/0/SEARCH
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City Hall Notebook: Manager gets ducks in a row for new parking garage
Nick Kotsopoulos
nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com

With construction of the 550-space CitySquare underground public parking garage slated to be completed later this year, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. is seeking authorization from the City Council to execute a ground lease for the garage with the project developer.

Mr. Augustus said it is important to execute the ground lease with CitySquare II Development Co. LLC now, so the city can seamlessly take on the operations and maintenance of the parking garage up its completion.

Under the General Development Agreement for the CitySquare project, the city will lease the parking garage from CitySquare II for $1 per year for 60 years.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29794/0/SEARCH

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Ground is broken for new Nelson Place School in Worcester

WORCESTER - For a moment on Monday the site of the new $58 million Nelson Place School in Worcester became the world's largest sandbox.

Expected to be ready by August 2017, the new school will be nearly 112,000 square feet , doubling the current space, and will have Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the US Green Building Council, with solar panels enabling it to produce at least three-quarters of its own electricity.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...09258/0/SEARCH

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  #47  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2015, 3:00 AM
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Hotel construction boom whets Worcester's appetite for visitors



WORCESTER - City officials hope that the opening of a new hotel early next year will bring Worcester one step closer to attracting conventions to the DCU Center that could bring thousands more people to lodge here and to spend money at local businesses.

A 100-room Hampton Inn, a Hilton hotel, is under construction. The hotel will open for business in early 2016, said Mark R. Stebbins, managing partner at Hooksett, N.H.-based XSS Hotels, a development and management company.

The new hotel on 65 Prescott St. abuts the Courtyard by Marriott on 72 Grove St., which has been part of XSS’ portfolio of 2,000 hotel rooms throughout the Northeast since 1999.

“We felt that there is some growth and that these brands were needed,” said Mr. Stebbins, of the demand for hotel rooms in the city. His company is also planning to build a 150-room Renaissance Hotel, a Marriott hotel, on Front Street in CitySquare. A construction date has not been set.

A 110-room Homewood Suites hotel, in Washington Square across the rotary from Union Station, is also due to break ground by end of the year.

Though the 360 additional rooms are a great sign of progress for Worcester, for now all they will do is generously replenish the 243 rooms lost when the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Lincoln Square closed in 2010 when its owners defaulted on a mortgage. That building has since been converted into dorms and classroom space by MCPHS University.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...09714/0/SEARCH

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WPI considers razing Alumni Gym

WORCESTER - For nearly 100 years, Alumni Gymnasium has been a prominent fixture in the heart of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute campus.

Located in the northeast corner of the campus quadrangle, the five-level, three-story high brick building, which is the college’s original gymnasium and among its oldest buildings, has been a long-time home to WPI athletics and student recreation.

But when the college’s new Sports and Recreation Center opened in 2012, Alumni Gym was vacated for athletic and recreational purposes and has pretty much remained empty since.

While several efforts have been made in recent years to explore how the historic building could be re-used, WPI officials have found potential options to be too costly and an inefficient use of the building.

As a result, the college is considering razing Alumni Gym and putting up in its place a versatile new facility for academic purposes that would serve as a new icon for WPI.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29160/0/SEARCH

I disapprove, and I think it would be a terrible mistake to demo Alumni Gym, but it really does need a lot of work to be useful again.

Last edited by scalziand; Jul 10, 2015 at 3:12 AM.
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  #48  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2015, 2:38 AM
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Worcester’s Shrewsbury Street gaining professional office space, ReadyMED
Written by Walter Bird Jr. · 05/21/2015 · 11:10 pm

A new four-story office building is headed for Shrewsbury Street, according to Gary Vecchio, president of the Shrewsbury Street Neighborhood Association (SSNA).

The plans, which Vecchio said require the approval of a variance by the Zoning Board of Appeals, call for a 19,039-square-foot building with 38 parking spaces in front of the building. Under the current zoning ordinance, the building would be required to be build with the parking lot behind it, necessitating a variance in order to place the lot in front.

http://worcestermag.com/2015/05/21/w...readymed/33824

{Booo. Keep that parking behind the building where it belongs}

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Kelley Square lot sells for $900,000
June 4, 2015

Worcester businessman Allen Fletcher has purchased the open lot in Kelley Square at the corner of Green and Harding Streets and is exploring a mixed-use development that would add more housing to the city's Canal District.

Fletcher purchased the 1.3-acre lot for $900,000 on May 20 from developers that he said had been looking to build a gas station on the property. The property, which abuts the Crompton Place building, was last sold in 2006 for $910,000.

http://www.wbjournal.com/article/201...150609971/1002
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  #49  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2015, 9:19 PM
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Worcester ZBA gives nod to Washington Square hotel plan
08/17/2015
Nick Kotsopoulos nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com



WORCESTER - Plans for a six-story, 120-room hotel in the Washington Square area have cleared their first local regulatory test.
The Zoning Board of Appeals Monday night unanimously approved a special permit for the $14 million project, to be built at 212 Summer St.
The special permit was needed because the plans do not comply with the city's minimum 3-foot landscaping buffer requirement along the rear of the property.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...19275/0/SEARCH

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Worcester Historical Commission holds up row house demolition

08/23/2015
Nick Kotsopoulos nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com



WORCESTER - The Historical Commission has upheld a delay to the proposed demolition of an historic row house on Pleasant Street.
By a unanimous vote, the commission Thursday night refused to waive the city's demolition delay ordinance for a vacant, four-story brick building at 80 Pleasant St., which is part of what was formerly known as the Ripley Block.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29801/0/SEARCH

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Worcester gives final OK for hotel planned for Washington Square
09/10/2015
Nick Kotsopoulos nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The developer of a proposed six-story, 120-room Hilton extended stay hotel at Washington Square has cleared the last local regulatory hurdle and is poised to move ahead with the project.
The Planning Board Wednesday night unanimously approved the site plans for the $21 million hotel, which will be built at 212 Summer St. in the northeast corner of Washington Square.
The developer, Fall River-based First Bristol Corp., hopes to close within 30 days on acquiring the 40,713-square-foot parcel that has been assembled for the hotel.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...19841/0/SEARCH

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Worcester offers tax relief to developer of El Morocco site
09/13/2015
Nick Kotsopoulos nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com



WORCESTER — The city administration wants to help facilitate the redevelopment of a longtime eyesore on Grafton Hill - the vacant former El Morocco Restaurant property on Wall Street - by offering tax relief to the developer.
City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. is recommending to the City Council a deal that would provide Branded Realty Group, LLC with a 70 percent real estate tax exemption over a 15-year period.
Branded Realty plans to invest $7 million in the property, including the demolition of the blighted, 12,197-square-foot former restaurant building, and putting up a new 60-unit market-rate apartment building in its place.
The so-called tax increment exemption plan would provide Branded Realty

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...19649/0/SEARCH

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Sale of downtown Worcester tower complex in the works
09/14/2015
Nick Kotsopoulos nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com



WORCESTER - A Wellesley-based real estate development firm has entered into a purchase-and-sale agreement for a key swath of downtown Worcester office and retail property.
Franklin Realty Advisors of Wellesley has entered into an agreement with Boston-based Berkeley Investments Inc. to purchase Front + Center, a 640,000-square-foot office and retail complex located next to the CitySquare development and bounded by Front, Mercantile, Commercial and Foster streets. Included in the property are the 20-story Telegram & Gazette tower at 100 Front St., the 9-story People's United Bank tower at 120 Front St., the 1,647-space Commercial Street Parking Garage, and retail space along Front Street. Berkeley has owned the property since 2004.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...19558/0/SEARCH

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City Hall Notebook: Work to begin on old Worcester courthouse
09/14/2015
Nick Kotsopoulos nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com


A New Hampshire-based company has been awarded the city contract for environmental remediation work to be done at the former Worcester County Courthouse.

The contract has gone to Air Quality Experts Inc. of Atkinson, N.H., which was the low bidder for the work at $1.192 million, according to Christopher Gagliastro, the city's purchasing director.

Air Quality Experts was one of six companies that bid on the contract. The others were: Compass Restoration, $1.22 million; Southern Middlesex Industries, $1.377 million; RM Technologies, $1.67 million; NASDI, $1.881 million and The Aulson Co., $2.42 million.

The remediation work is being funded by a $3 million grant the city received from the state when the title to the courthouse was transferred to the city last year.

Brady Sullivan Properties LLC has offered the city $1.2 million for the courthouse property. The City Council approved the sale in early April.

The New Hampshire-based developer wants to renovate the building into 115 market-rate apartments and 3,000 square feet of retail space.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...19569/0/SEARCH

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Public hearing Wednesday for former Wyman-Gordon property
09/14/2014
Nick Kotsopoulos nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com



WORCESTER — The future of the largely vacant 14-acre Wyman-Gordon property off Kelley Square has long been an enigma to city officials.

Considered one of the prime development spots in the city because of its proximity to the downtown, the burgeoning Canal District and major transportation routes, the property is no closer to a productive reuse today than it was more than a dozen years ago when the buildings on the site were razed.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...19573/0/SEARCH

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Old Posted Sep 28, 2015, 7:31 PM
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Kelley Square curve ball: WooSox ballpark mulled by Canal District pubgoers
9/27/15

WORCESTER - A PawSox stadium in Kelley Square? All the thrills wouldn't be confined to the ballpark, say local sports fans, who welcome the idea of a new team in town but are wary of building a stadium at Worcester's most notorious traffic intersection.

Worcester city officials have said they would welcome discussions with the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Boston Red Sox Triple A minor league affiliate, about a potential move to the city now that the PawSox' negotiations for a new stadium in Providence have broken down.

A location that has been talked about as a potential spot for a stadium is the old Wyman-Gordon property, a 14-acre industrial site at 105 Madison St., off Kelley Square.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...0929217/101478
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2015, 6:46 PM
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Worcester hotel developer looking to offer something different
10/06/15

WORCESTER – Get ready for some swankiness, Worcester.

The developers behind a 168-room hotel slated for downtown plan to build and operate the property as a luxury, boutique-style lodging under the AC Hotels brand of Marriott International Inc.

With a salt-water pool and high-tech conveniences, the $33.1 million development is banking on luring hip travelers looking for something special and willing to pay $180 or more per night for the experience.

“We don’t want to go to markets where there’s already a room base and offer more of the same,” said Leo H. Xarras, chairman of Colwen Hotels, a New Hampshire company. “Our goal is to offer something that’s a level above. This speaks to the person that’s looking for boutique and luxury. It speaks to the person that’s looking for something different. “

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Old Posted Nov 11, 2015, 7:04 PM
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Worcester OK's tax deal for El Morocco property; 60 apartments planned
10/20/15

WORCESTER - The City Council Tuesday night unanimously approved a tax-relief deal that will help finance the planned $7 million redevelopment of the vacant El Morocco Restaurant property on Wall Street into market-rate housing.

The so-called tax increment exemption plan approved by the council will give the developer, Branded Realty, a 70 percent real estate tax exemption on that property over a 15-year period.

The exemption is expected to amount to a total property tax savings of about $1.2 million.

Branded Realty plans to demolish the blighted, 12,197-square-foot former restaurant building and construct a new 60-unit apartment building there.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29870/0/SEARCH

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Renovation of Junction Shops complex nears completion
10/25/15

WORCESTER -­­­ Three other developers turned down redeveloping the Junction Shop complex, before Brady Sullivan Properties and Starr Development Partners stepped in and purchased the historic mill property in 2012.

Three years later, the partners are putting on the finishing touches to a new apartment complex, the Junction Shop Lofts, that features many of the mill’s original qualities, as well as state-of-the-art amenities.

The 233,000 square foot mill complex, which was built in stages from 1850 to 1908, was home to the J.S. Wheeler & Co. machinist company, the Taylor & Farley Organ factory, the Knowles Loom Works and the Cereal Machine Company.

Mr. Starr said that many of the units feature exposed brick, and large windows, which are the size of the original window openings. Historic doors, different mill gears and a safe that were discovered during the renovation process are on display in various places throughout the building.

As part of the renovation project, all 1,083 windows in the building were replaced, and each one was done according to specifications that satisfied the various government entities that had some oversight on the project, including the National Parks Service, Massachusetts Historical Commission, Worcester Historical Commission and Preservation Worcester.

The muntins (the bar or rigid supporting strip between adjacent panes of glass), meeting rails and exterior brick faces of the windows all had to meet specific size criteria, before any of the windows could be installed.

Rents start at $1,100 for a one-bedroom apartment and increase to as much as $2,500 for the larger three- and four-bedroom units. Of the 173 units, 102 have two bedrooms, and there are nearly 30 different floor plans, due to the unique size and shape of the building. Several of the three- and four-bedroom units are two-­tier loft spaces that feature spiral staircases and gas fireplaces.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29643/0/SEARCH
{Boston prices are making their way to Worcester}

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Mostly hidden from sight, a $35 million project in downtown Worcester nears completion
10/25/15

WORCESTER – In the middle of downtown, a $35 million construction project is nearly finished. But it is almost completely hidden.

That’s because the project - a 550-vehicle parking garage - is taking shape beneath streets and vast concrete slabs that look like a lot of nothing.

Built into a cavity that was once the lower level of a defunct shopping mall, the two-level underground garage has been engineered to support a hotel, a park and, maybe someday, an office building.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29544/0/SEARCH

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UMass Memorial to bring 500 jobs to downtown Worcester
10/26/15

WORCESTER – UMass Memorial Health Care announced Monday morning it will be the major new tenant at 90-110 Front St., bringing 500 information technology jobs to downtown, starting by the end of the year.

Franklin Realty Advisors, of Wellesley, and Great Point Investors of Boston recently purchased the buildings at 90-110 and 120 Front Street for $32.5 million, and announced that the entire project cost, including redevelopment of the property, will total $70.1 million.

UMass Memorial Health Care will lease 74,600 square feet of space in the vacant former mall space that faces Front Street. Of the 500 UMass Memorial jobs that will be moved into that space, between 160 and 200 of those will be new jobs, according to a UMass Memorial spokesman.

The two-story space that UMass Memorial will occupy will have a new façade; the space is currently covered over. UMass Memorial will occupy the second floor, and the first floor will be shops and restaurants. The developer placed a large banner over part of the space that shows what the façade is planned to look like.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29367/0/SEARCH

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Eversource on the hook for cleanup of entire WRTA site in Worcester
11/3/15

WORCESTER - The state Department of Environmental Protection has informed Eversource Energy that it is responsible for the cleanup of the entire Quinsigamond Avenue site where a manufactured gas plant operated more than a century ago.

An 11-acre portion of the 17-acre property will soon be home to a new maintenance garage for the Worcester Regional Transit Authority.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...09744/0/SEARCH

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WPI wraps up $248M campaign, largest in the school's history
11/6/15

WORCESTER - Worcester Polytechnic Institute is announcing Friday that it has completed the largest fund-raising campaign in its history, raising $248 million. The campaign, which exceeded its original $200 million goal by nearly 25 percent, benefits student financial aid, faculty and academic programs, and campus facilities.

The university said $110 million raised toward student financial assistance far exceeded the campaign’s goal. Additionally, $36 million was raised toward faculty and academic program support, enabling the creation of five new endowed professorships, while $52 million was raised toward campus facility development. Another $50 million in support was unrestricted.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...09439/0/SEARCH

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Marathon Sports Group unveils plan for new Worcester hockey rinks
11/10/15

WORCESTER — Three years after his plan to have a hockey rink built in the parking lot near the Worcester Public Library failed, Craig L. Blais, president and chief executive of the Worcester Business Development Corporation, believes he’s found a more suitable location in the Canal District.

Mr. Blais said the WBDC has been negotiating for two years with GKN Sinter Metals to acquire the former PresMet Corp. site at Harding and Winter streets, and he expects to complete the purchase with brownfield grants between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The WBDC would demolish the former powder metal parts manufacturing plant, which has been closed since 2007, clean up the 3.5-acre site by June 1, 2016, and lease it to Marathon Sports Group, which would finance, build, own and manage the facility that will house two rinks, a pro shop, eight locker rooms, a restaurant, offices and possibly a physical therapy room. Marathon Sports Group president Harry Angevine said the plan is to complete construction by August 2017.

Mr. Blais said the WBDC conservatively estimates that the facility would attract 50,000 users to the rinks each year. He added that the rinks will operate 18 to 20 hours a day, seven days a week, year round. Multiple-rink facilities attract multiday tournaments, so players and fans often stay at local hotels.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...19950/0/SEARCH

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Worcester board supports historic designation for courthouse addition
11/12/15

WORCESTER - The Historical Commission is supporting an effort to have the 1954 addition to the former Worcester County Courthouse building included on the National Register of Historic Places.

The designation is considered important for the redevelopment of the courthouse because it would enable the developer, Brady Sullivan Properties LLC, to apply for state and federal historic tax credits for the entire building.

Currently, only parts of the former courthouse building are included on the National Register of Historic Places and are eligible for historic tax credits. Because the 1954 addition is not on the register, it is not eligible for those credits.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...19600/0/SEARCH

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John Conceison: Does idea for an indoor track facility in Worcester have legs?
11/21/15

As Worcester plods through the planning stages of redevelopment, we're hearing the echoes of the dreams: "Build it, they will come."

The proverbial cornfield may well be the former Wyman-Gordon property for sale at 105-115 Madison St., or maybe some other plot of land in the city. A baseball stadium, an ice hockey complex ...

How about a state-of-the-art indoor track facility?

For the decades that followed the demise of top-flight indoor track meets at the old Boston Garden, coaches and enthusiasts in Eastern Mass. promoted the idea of such a facility, with Boston Globe high school sports editor Larry Ames carrying the torch, when few would listen.

Proponents emphasize that this is not a competition with those in the baseball stadium and hockey complex camps, that there is room for all three in the city, whether they be on the former Wyman-Gordon land or some other parcels.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29742/0/SEARCH

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DGT Survey Group opens office in Worcester
11/22/15

WORCESTER - Digital Geographic Technologies Inc. of Boston has opened the Worcester office of DGT Survey Group in the Park View office tower, 255 Park Ave., Suite 508.

John Lloyd, regional office manager, said the new location, with A. Wayne Harrison as senior project manager, allows the company to better serve its expanding client base and project workload in Central and Western Massachusetts.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29984/0/SEARCH

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Worcester board gives Holy Cross OK for major expansion of athletic complex
11/23/15

WORCESTER - The College of the Holy Cross has received a green light from the Planning Board to go ahead with plans to renovate and expand the Hart Center, the college's 40-year-old indoor athletic and recreation center.

The board last week unanimously approved the plans for the $71.5 million project, which call for renovating part of the existing facility and more than doubling its current size through an expansion.

The Hart Center, which was built in 1975, is a 138,000-square-foot facility that has a basketball court/arena, ice hockey rink and swimming pool.

Joshua Lee Smith, a lawyer representing Holy Cross, said the project involves renovating 46,000 square feet of existing space and building a 139,000-square-foot addition that will more than double the current size of the Hart Center.

He said the new facility will include a full-size indoor turf field, an auxiliary basketball court, locker rooms, weight training and exercise rooms, locker rooms, team meeting rooms and office space.

The expansion project will result in the net loss of 19 on-campus parking spaces, but Holy Cross will still have 260 more parking spaces than what it is required under the city's zoning ordinance, Mr. Smith said.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29627/0/SEARCH

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Large, 'innovative' veterans clinic in Worcester is a no-go; UMass envisions smaller site
11/29/15



WORCESTER – A proposal announced with fanfare and optimism last Veterans Day to build a new Veterans Affairs clinic at UMass Medical School four times as large as the present facility on Lincoln Street has been rejected by the federal government and will not move forward.

A new plan in the works could still result in a clinic half that size being built at UMass, but the “innovative” joint venture between the medical school and VA that then-Gov. Deval L. Patrick touted as a possible national model was rejected months ago because of legal issues.

“When you’re the trailblazer, the first person beating an unknown path, you come across things you didn’t know were there,” Dr. Michael Mayo-Smith, head of the VA New England Healthcare System, said Wednesday. Dr. Smith downplayed the notion that local veterans will lose out on space, saying that both services and space will be increasing, both short and long-term.

Dr. Mayo-Smith oversees VA health centers throughout New England, including the local VA Central Western Massachusetts system.

That system – which is based in Northampton and runs the Lincoln Street clinic in Worcester, among others – has long been a laggard when it comes to expediency of care, consistently notching the longest wait times in New England. Officials made a splash on Veterans Day 2014 when they revealed plans for a 100,000 square-foot facility to be built and operated in partnership with UMass Medical School.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29074/0/SEARCH
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Old Posted Dec 22, 2015, 9:12 PM
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Rebuilt clock tower welcomed on hospital campus in Worcester
By Cyrus Moulton
Telegram & Gazette Staff

Posted Dec. 1, 2015 at 6:40 PM
Updated Dec 2, 2015 at 2:06 PM


The clock tower on the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital campus. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the reconstructed tower at 10 a.m. Dec. 10. T&G File Photo/Christine Hochkeppel

The clock tower on the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital campus. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the reconstructed tower at 10 a.m. Dec. 10. T&G File Photo/Christine Hochkeppel

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...09929/0/SEARCH

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At dedication of Elm Park bridge, Robert Kraft announces gifts to Worcester Tech, WPI
Dec. 8, 2015



On Tuesday, the owner of the New England Patriots and nearly 100 other attendees at a dedication ceremony at Elm Park celebrated the latest addition to his family’s Worcester history, the newly rebuilt Myra Hiatt Kraft Footbridge. Designed by Worcester Polytechnic Institute engineering students and constructed by students at Worcester Technical High School, the latest version of the memorable park feature was installed in September, ending a two-year absence since the last bridge was taken down.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...09342/0/SEARCH

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Worcester's Main Street reconfiguration plan draws support, criticism
By Steven H. Foskett Jr.
Telegram & Gazette Staff

Posted Dec. 9, 2015 at 10:16 PM
Updated Dec 10, 2015 at 10:11 PM


Bill McGrath of Beta Engineering shows proposed streetscape improvements for Worcester's Main Street during a state Department of Public Transportation hearing Wednesday at the Worcester Public Library. T&G Staff/Steve Lanava

WORCESTER - If there were one thing supporters and critics of the planned streetscape-style improvements to Main Street from Madison Street to School Street could agree on at a public hearing for the $7 million project Wednesday night, it was that the two-tiered bollard and chain-style sidewalk design featured in areas like Front Street adjacent to City Hall are universally unloved.

The tiered sidewalks are required because of elevation and slope challenges along the stretch to bring the city into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, but beyond specific aspects of the project, critics and proponents also seemed to agree on a different level that the project needs a little more effort, a little more tweaking.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...09228/0/SEARCH

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Worcester board backs Marriott-brand hotel for CitySquare

WORCESTER - Plans for a 170-room downtown hotel, part of the CitySquare redevelopment project, have won approval from the Planning Board.

The approval keeps the hotel on a track for construction to begin in the spring and take 15 to 16 months to complete, according to Patricia Finnegan Gates, a lawyer representing Worcester Trumbull Street LLC, an affiliate of New Hampshire-based XSS Hotels.

The plans unanimously approved by the Planning Board Wednesday night call for the construction of a six-story, 116,859-square-foot hotel at Front and Trumbull streets.

Ms. Gates said the $33.1 million project will be constructed above part of the 586-space CitySquare underground parking garage. The hotel will lease 99 of those parking spaces in the garage for its customers.

The hotel will operate under the AC Brand of Marriott International Inc. Ms. Gates said AC Hotels has been Marriott's strongest brand launch in its history, with 100 "committed projects" that are either already open, under construction or in development.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...19792/0/SEARCH

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Citizens Bank loan to help build CitySquare apartments

WORCESTER - Citizens Bank will loan $41.5 million to a real estate developer for construction of 237 apartments in downtown Worcester.

The bank reported Friday it is providing a construction loan to the Roseland subsidiary of Mack-Cali Realty LP. Roseland plans to develop 4 acres off Foster Street to hold an apartment complex, parking and amenities such as a swimming pool. The parcel is part of the downtown redevelopment area known as CitySquare.

Citizens Bank reported in a news release that when it is complete, the residential complex will have 365 apartments.

Mack-Cali is based in Edison, New Jersey. Citizens Bank is based in Providence and has operations in Central Massachusetts.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...19777/0/SEARCH

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Official visit to Worcester spurs hope for UMass-VA clinic

WORCESTER – A high-ranking member of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs came to Worcester this week for a private meeting with officials of the University of Massachusetts Medical School – a sign, U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern said, that the VA remains committed to partnering with the school despite recent news that a large-scale VA clinic pitched for the campus has been rejected.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...19305/0/SEARCH

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Worcester's pitch to Pawtucket Red Sox includes postcard campaign to Larry Lucchino

It has been more than a month since the Canal District Alliance became the first organized group to suggest that Worcester might be just the place for the Pawtucket Red Sox to look at when thinking about a new ballpark.

That was early November. Has the Canal District Alliance heard back from any person, agency, or company about its suggestion?

“We’ve reached out, but we haven’t heard a word from anybody,” Alliance president Mullen Sawyer said, “but we’re not at all discouraged. We look at this as a long-range thing, and we know there will be a lot of hurdles to encounter, and overcome, before we get there.”
The Alliance is doing some tangible reaching out these days as it mounts a postcard campaign to let PawSox president Larry Lucchino know how many local fans are interested in having his team in the canal district.

PawSox ownership does not want to negotiate online, in print, on Facebook, on Twitter or in blogs. If the team winds up moving, it might get messy since the franchise is locked into McCoy Stadium essentially through the end of the decade. PawSox management was not happy when Springfield went public saying it had talked with the team about going there.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...19189/0/SEARCH

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Questions arise over Worcester Edge's high-end, off-campus student housing
By Emily Gowdey-Backus
Correspondent
Posted Dec. 20, 2015 at 6:00 AM
Updated Dec 21, 2015 at 4:54 PM

WORCESTER - A new type of housing is under construction in the former Osgood Bradley building next to Union Station. Developer Rick Shaffer is bringing a concept, which has met with success in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, to Worcester: luxury student housing.


But at least one landlords' group thinks the student-only concept might be labeled unfair.


Mr. Shaffer has proposed that in order to qualify as a tenant at the Edge, applicants must pass credit and background checks - and be an enrolled student.


Mr. Shaffer said a defining clause in the lease emphasizes why and how the Edge can solely be leased as purpose-built student housing: The clause requires a parent or guardian to guarantee the student’s lease.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2015...29952/0/SEARCH
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Old Posted Feb 11, 2016, 2:25 PM
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I have followed this Forum for years and thought I would finally start posting some articles
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Webster Five to move Worcester branch to 100 Front St.

Posted Jun. 8, 2015 at 10:55 AM
Updated Jun 9, 2015 at 8:44 AM

T&G Staff/Don Landgren Jr.

WEBSTER – Webster Five Cents Savings Bank will move its branch currently located at 200 Commercial St. to retail space at 100 Front St.

Webster Five has petitioned the Commissioner of Banks of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for approval to relocate its branch just around the corner at 100 Front St. The new 2,788-square-foot office is expected to open in early September 2015, and will provide a larger lobby area, new offices and conference room.

Branch Manager Robert Totaro and all of the Commercial Street employees will relocate to the new branch, which will feature a walk-up ATM. The branch staff also recently relocated to the 19th floor of 100 Front Street.

http://www.telegram.com/article/20150608/NEWS/150609259

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Worcester's wayfinding sign project back on track

By Cyrus Moulton
Telegram & Gazette Staff
Posted Jan. 20, 2016 at 8:43 PM
Updated Jan 21, 2016 at 4:36 AM

WORCESTER - After nearly a decade lost amid the fallout of the Great Recession, a wayfinding project to help guide people around the city has been reinvigorated, and installation should be finished by spring 2017.

“This is not just about signage,” said Jenna Wills, Wayfinding Project manager with the city of Worcester, at a presentation Wednesday afternoon at the EcoTarium. “This is about guiding and navigating folks in the city and so when they do arrive here, they can orient themselves in the city itself.”

The Wayfinding Project began in 2006 as a public-private collaboration among the city, local tourism and community development groups, and local cultural institutions, colleges and universities. The goal was to develop a unified and comprehensive sign system to direct visitors in the city while also promoting the city’s amenities and history.

http://www.telegram.com/article/20160120/NEWS/160129876

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Worcester gets hockey franchise; team to debut at DCU Center in 2017

By Bill Ballou
Telegram & Gazette Staff
Posted Feb. 8, 2016 at 11:48 AM
Updated Feb 10, 2016 at 9:26 AM

WORCESTER — There was a time last Friday afternoon in Kalamazoo, Michigan, when Cliff Rucker wondered if all the time, money and energy he had expended on bringing an ECHL expansion franchise here had been wasted.

“I was in the process of making my presentation to the Board of Governors,” Rucker said on Monday, “and there was no reaction. I even tried throwing a little humor in with it, and nothing. Everyone just sat there stone-faced. When I finished, there were no questions.

“So I didn’t know what to expect.”

It only took about 15 minutes for Rucker to find out how his presentation was received and it came in the news of a unanimous approval for Worcester’s membership in the ECHL. The results of that vote were officially announced during a press conference on Monday at the DCU Center, which will be the team’s home beginning in 2017-18.

http://www.telegram.com/article/20160208/NEWS/160209356

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Mercantile Center renovation on fast track in downtown Worcester

By Aaron Nicodemus
Telegram & Gazette Staff
Posted Feb. 10, 2016 at 6:00 AM
Updated Feb 10, 2016 at 4:51 PM

This rendering from Franklin Realty Advisors shows what the common space at 100 Front St. will look like after it is renovated. Submitted Photo


A rendering of the proposed exterior of 100 Front St. Submitted Photo

WORCESTER - The new owners of the office towers at 100 and 120 Front St., which they recently renamed Mercantile Center, plan to wipe away all reminders that parts of the property were once a downtown mall.

With UMass Memorial Health Care scheduled to occupy 75,000 square feet of former retail and mall space with 500 employees in the 20-story 100 Front St. office tower by November, developers Franklin Realty Advisors and Great Point Investors are putting a $39 million redevelopment of the space on the fast track.

Currently vacant space, the former mall and retail space will become a focal point of the renovation project, according to Charles "Chip" Norton, manager and owner of Wellesley-based Franklin Realty Advisors. In addition to becoming usable space for the tenants of 100 Front St., the space will also be available to the community for events, he said. In addition, plans to build several restaurants and bars in vacant space along Front Street will bring people to the site after typical office hours.

"For a long time, Worcester's downtown has been a 9-to-5 place," Mr. Norton said. "With all that is happening across the street in the CitySquare development, and the things we have planned for this development, we plan to bring people downtown after those hours."

"The idea, in the end, is to tie this property into the downtown, to make it an 18-hour a day operation," he said. CitySquare has a hotel and apartment complex planned, and an underground parking garage under construction. The hotel will be across Front Street from 100 Front St., and directly behind the nine-story tower at 120 Front St.

http://www.telegram.com/article/20160210/NEWS/160219983

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'Mercantile Center' key piece as planners look to create an 18-hour downtown in Worcester

By Michael D. Kane
Mass Live Staff
Posted Feb. 11, 2016 at 7:04 AM
Updated Feb. 11, 2016 at 8:10 AM

WORCESTER – In a change that developer Charles "Chip" Norton Jr. said harks back to Worcester's history, the towers at 100 and 120 Front Street have a new name. The mixed office/retail buildings are now called "Mercantile Center."

Though the signs were already visible, the official rebranding ceremony was held Wednesday night in the buildings' atrium, marking the beginning of a project which, though privately funded, will be part of the CitySquare experience, according to city officials. The buildings will host offices and retail stores, as soon as this year in some cases.

The property was once part of the Worcester Galleria, the defunct mall that once cut through the heart of downtown Worcester. Most of that mall has ben raised, and over the next six to nine months, so will any remnants of that mall inside the two towers. Franklin Realty Advisors, the developer, and Great Point Investors, the main investor, are planning major renovations to the building.
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Charles "Chip" Norton Jr. discusses the branding Of Mercantile Center Charles "Chip" Norton Jr., president of Franklin Realty Trust, discusses the branding of his downtown Worcester project as Mercantile Center.

Overall, the towers represent 636,100 square feet of office and retail space. It currently houses 1,250 workers with at least 500 more coming from the buildings first new tenant, UMass Memorial Healthcare's centralized IT department.

http://www.masslive.com/news/worcest...lcomes_me.html

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Erland Begins Construction on Worcester’s City Square

Boston Real Estate Times
Posted Feb. 10, 2016

City Square Rendering

ORCESTER, MA – Erland has begun construction on City Square, a 368 unit rental housing complex with core and shell retail space in the heart of downtown Worcester.

The 398,000sf wood frame, partial podium structure transitions from 5- to 6-stories. The development will include amenities such as an exterior pool and outdoor entertaining areas. The project scope also includes the construction of a 409-car precast parking garage.

City Square is developed by Roseland Property, a Mack Cali Company and designed by ICON Architecture. The first units will be available by the summer of 2017.

http://bostonrealestatetimes.com/erl...s-city-square/
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Former Worcester Boys & Girls Club eyed for storage, housing
February 9, 2016

WORCESTER - Once a boxing mecca in Central Massachusetts and a longtime popular venue for local youths, the former Boys & Girls Club building at 2 Ionic Ave. has been down for the count for some time.

Vacant the past 10 years, the 102-year-old building situated on the southern edge of the downtown has fallen into great disrepair.

The roofs in the three main areas of the building are said to be leaking like sieves, the gymnasium floor has buckled from water damage, and the building's brick exterior is in need of major cleaning and repointing.

The building even dodged a date with the wrecking ball in 2012 and had it not been for the action of the Historical Commission, the historical building could very well have become nothing more than a distant memory by now.

But the new owner of the property is intent on getting the building up off the mat and giving it a new life.

"It's an absolutely gorgeous building, and we're very excited to have the opportunity to bring it back to life and give it another life for the next century to come," said Peter Heaney, who purchased the Boys and Girls Club building in November for $130,000. "I feel lucky to be the building's steward at this point."

Mr. Heaney's plans for the building are twofold.

Initially, he is looking to convert the 40,000-square-foot building into a self-storage facility.

He said that would enable him to stabilize the building and generate income he hopes will eventually allow him to proceed with the second phase - converting it into apartments.

"At a later point, maybe a few years down the road, I'd like to convert it into affordable housing or apartments," Mr. Heaney, owner of a Westwood-based carpentry business, told the Historical Commission last week.

"By getting to this first step I will be able to stabilize the building, and then it's just a matter of converting it (to housing) when the time is right," he said.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2016...09748/0/SEARCH

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QCC unveils new $23M QuEST Center in Worcester
Scott O’Connell
January 19, 2016

WORCESTER – The opening of a new building on a college campus usually creates excitement. For some people at Quinsigamond Community College, the opening of the new QuEST Center inspires something even more than that.

“The first time I stepped into this building was in early December – not to be sappy, but it moved me to tears,” said Kathy Rentsch, the school’s Dean of Business, Engineering and Technology. “We’ve never had a facility like this for engineering, science and technology.”

The $23.5 million center, which the college broke ground on almost two years ago, will finally open for the upcoming spring semester. On Tuesday, Quinsigamond welcomed dozens of guests to campus for a grand opening ceremony and tour of the facility.

“Quinsigamond Community College sits on the former Assumption Prep (campus),” which closed 46 years ago, said the college’s president, Gail E. Carberry. “Up until the construction of this new building, we were using their old laboratories to teach science.”

For a college intent on being a key part of a burgeoning biomanufacturing network in the region, the QuEST – short for Quinsigamond Engineering, Science and Technology – Center is a critical addition to the campus’s “arsenal of technology,” Ms. Carberry said. The four-story building, which sits on a hill in the center of campus, not only offers “state-of-the-art” labs and classrooms, she said, but was also designed to facilitate modern educational concepts like problem-based learning, collaborative projects, and maker spaces.

Scott O’Connell can be reached at Scott.O’Connell@telegram.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScottOConnellTG

http://www.telegram.com/article/2016...19078/0/SEARCH

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Board OKs Assumption plan for $20M academic building
January 19, 2016

The Worcester Planning Board has approved the site plans for construction of a $20 million, 60,000-square-foot academic building at Assumption College.

Kevin Quinn of Quinn Engineering Inc. told the board last week the new three-story building will house classrooms, offices, an auditorium and a function hall.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2016...19194/0/SEARCH
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  #58  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2016, 8:39 PM
tbagley4 tbagley4 is offline
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Posts: 8
The Mercantile Center news is definitely really big news for CitySquare. If they can actually attract retailers and restaurants to that area, then downtown will be much improved. I am also waiting for any news on the new Hampton Inn Hotel in Gateway Park. It should be almost done, but I never see any press releases or pictures of it.
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  #59  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2016, 1:31 PM
tbagley4 tbagley4 is offline
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Demolition clearing way for $21M hotel at Washington Square in Worcester

By Telegram & Gazette Staff
Posted Feb. 18, 2016 at 10:08 PM
Updated at 6:19 AM

WORCESTER - Demolition work is underway at the future Washington Square location of the Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel.

Two parcels are being razed to make way for the $21 million hotel: the former KJ Baaron's and the former home of Gabriel Racing and The Gun Parlor.

The proposed six-story, 118-room All Suites property will be built at 212 Summer St. in the northeast corner of Washington Square. The site also includes the property acquired by First Bristol Corp. from the Worcester Redevelopment Authority.

Demolition is expected to continue for another week to 10 days. Weather permitting, construction work on the foundation could begin as early as March 1.

http://www.telegram.com/article/2016...&st_refQuery=/
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  #60  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2016, 3:45 PM
scalziand's Avatar
scalziand scalziand is offline
Mortaaaaaaaaar!
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Naugatuck, CT/Worcester,MA
Posts: 3,446
Oh snap, they DID tear down Alumin Gym at WPI. At least they saved the sculptures.

http://www.telegram.com/news/2016062...ing-demolition

WPI breaks ground for academic, dorm building
Posted Aug 31, 2016 at 6:37 PM Updated Sep 1, 2016 at 1:34 PM

By Scott O'Connell
Telegram & Gazette Staff
@ScottOConnellTG

WORCESTER – Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s almost century-old alumni gym is no more, now just a pile of rubble and finely ground dust that students and alumni scooped up in jars as a keepsake on Wednesday.

In its place, however, the university will build a five-story, 78,000-square-foot academic facility/residence hall that WPI President Laurie Leshin said will be a physical embodiment of the institution’s educational philosophy.

http://www.telegram.com/news/2016083...-dorm-building
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