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Old 03-24-2019, 05:40 PM   #461
bakgwailo
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Re: Worcester Improvements

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Originally Posted by kmp1284 View Post
Where in Boston can you find anything livable for under $2000/month without it being subsidized/income restricted?
Dorchester? Rozzie? Westie? Hyde Park?
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:14 AM   #462
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Re: Worcester Improvements

I was passing through Worcester yesterday with my girlfriend and we were both struck by how much trash littered the ground of every property. It was the southern part of the city along Cambridge Street. The area was embarrassingly filthy.

Also why was the St Patrick's Day parade held a full week late? The traffic jam it caused was an absolute mess!
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:36 AM   #463
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Re: Worcester Improvements

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There is some evidence of that, though I don’t have any current data. When construction finished in 2018, the WBJ reported that 26% of the 368 apartments have been leased.

At night it seems many of the windows are dark, but this is just my personal observation. Also, there is a Protein House health restaurant slated to open, which has been delayed since last year.

On the other hand, Lakeway Commons in Shrewsbury has a similar price point, but is close to UMass medical and has its own Whole Foods, yoga studios, restaurants and has much lower vacancy.

I think 145 Front Street is in it for the long game, but they may have to bring on some promotional rates soon to be more competitive.
Yes, compared to suburban apartment complexes along Route 9 it's on par. I guess it makes sense, the Route 9 complexes are the top end of the regional rental market, and 145 Front wants to join them. We'll see, but I think it has to be based on regional economic development as opposed to Boston commutes.
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:35 PM   #464
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Re: Worcester Improvements

That final piece in city square finally has a proposal. This is right by union station too so if your on the framingham worcester line you could take that in too. Theyre adding another platform there as well. Not bad.









“​One CitySquare is a proposed transportation-oriented development centrally located in the heart of Worcester and will further transform this vibrant downtown neighborhood. One CitySquare is part of a $565 million multi-phased project that upon completion will create more than 2.2 million square feet of mixed-use space.”

http://www.onecitysquareworcester.com
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:31 PM   #465
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Re: Worcester Improvements

Quote:
Olympia Theater reborn: Live music venue planned for Worcester’s long-closed historic theater

By Michael Bonner | mbonner@masslive.com

Atop the balcony of the Olympia Theater, among the torn leather from the stadium seats and the thick layer of dust built up through years of vacancy, Patrick Flynn felt a connection with the property.

He knocked down temporary 2-by-4 walls that once held up a dropped ceiling. The newer structure blocked access to the wing seats on the balcony. As he removed them, the old theater located on Pleasant Street in downtown Worcester, spoke to him.

“You just start to push the broom a little bit and it’s like you’re petting a dog. And the dog immediately feels the affection,” Flynn said. “You try to trick yourself into believing it, I guess. But you just start to clean up, just anything. You’re just instantly overwhelmed to keep going.”

The city’s oldest theater - built in 1891 - has been closed since 2006. It was in decline for years before that. Since that time not much has gone on within the theater’s walls.

Pedestrians walking along Pleasant Street recently inquired about the new logos covering the glass doors depicting food and cocktails.

One man, walked by exclaiming to his friend, “That used to be a porno place.”

Prior to its closing, it was in fact a theater that showed pornographic films. However, the conversation between the two men changed when they discovered, the Olympia Theater would be transformed back into its original purpose - live shows.

“Mint!” the man said.

That’s the plan of Flynn and Jennifer Wright, who have signed an agreement to purchase the Olympia Theater for more than $700,000. They want to take a decaying brick building and create excitement.

A thick black binder includes their background and ideas. Flynn possesses more than three decades of construction experience and more than 20 years of sound engineering. Wright has more than 20 years of restaurant experience.

Together their backgrounds merge with this project.

They envision the Olympia Theater as a future stalwart within an 18-hour downtown. From yoga in the morning to business meetings during the day and, of course, music at night to go with a bar and grille.

The binder includes menu items like stacked potato skin, chicken and waffles and table side s’mores. It also includes music acts such as ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Eddie Money, and Uncle Kracker that they hope to one day bring to the theater.

With weekends dedicated to ticketed acts, Tuesdays offer open mics.

“Our vision at this stage, at this size, you can see someone who was your hero on our stage,” Flynn said. “And then on Tuesday night, you can play right there on that same stage.”

The stage and the theater are far from ready for yesterday’s stars or up and comers, who Wright and Flynn pitch as their core headliners. Their plan calls for just under $2 million to repair the music hall, build out the restaurant and buy equipment. Holes in the ceiling poke through the water stains. A maroon half circle created by brushing away the dust on the floor outlines where the stage needs to be extended. The theater also needs an elevator - just one aspect to allow it to meet code.

https://www.masslive.com/worcester/2...c-theater.html

I was really hoping someone was willing to save this place. Looks like two people are willing.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:52 AM   #466
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Re: Worcester Improvements

"Wright and Flynn also plan to launch a [sic]Kickstarer fund, which should be announced soon. The amount is still to be determined."

I wish them well, but I don't see how a $1.3 million construction budget will suffice. Given that the recent donation campaigns for saving Notre Dame and Mount Carmel yielded pretty meager results I am doubtful they can raise any money that way. Pretty risky business for those two.
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:48 AM   #467
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Re: Worcester Improvements

Federal Square in front of the Hanover theater is being expanded to make it more pedestrian friendly. Southbridge Street is rerouted which means the amphitheater and beautiful (non-working) fountain are dismantled, which is unfortunate. All trees have been cut down. The city says it plans to rebuild the fountain and amphitheater elsewhere, but did not disclose where.




Amphitheater, trees last summer:


Fountain:
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:21 PM   #468
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Re: Worcester Improvements

Worcester is trying to get Hasbro to Providence.
The Providence Journal Has Threatened "War":

https://www.telegram.com/news/201905...home-of-woosox
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:41 AM   #469
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Re: Worcester Improvements

Quote:
Boston architecture firm plans $94M digital arts renovation of Worcester Memorial Auditorium

By Zachary Comeau

The Worcester Memorial Auditorium will be sold to a historic property architecture firm for $450,000 to make way for the firm’s planned $94-million redevelopment of the 87-year-old building vacant since 1999.

City Manager Edward Augustus is slated to bring the news to the City Council next Tuesday, according to documents released by the city Thursday. The council will be asked to approve the sale to Boston-based Architectural Heritage Foundation.

The firm has been studying the building and its potential reuse options since February 2017. A final report was submitted to the city two years later, but not unveiled until now.

That report calls for a $94-million project to renovate the structure into an innovative digital technology, arts and education center for the 21st century digital media industry, Augustus said in a letter to councilors.

Terms of the sale include restrictions to preserve the exterior building facades, lobby, Memorial Hall, Kimball Organ and artwork.

The sale, however, will not close for another two years as benchmarks must be met to ensure the project happens.

Worcester Chief Development Officer Michael Traynor said in a document the main auditorium will seat up to 2,000 people and the Little Theatre will be transformed into a 300-set IMAX-style theater, which could also be used for smaller-scale e-sports events and other interactive digital sessions.
SOURCE
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:42 AM   #470
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Re: Worcester Improvements

And while the Aud finds favor, the Boys Club falls out.

Quote:
Planned autism school backs out of $20M Lincoln Square project

By Zachary Comeau

The new owner of the former Lincoln Square Boys Club in Worcester is now looking for a new tenant after a school for children with autism has backed out of the project.

WinnCompanies, developer of the Voke Lofts, Canal Lofts and other residential buildings in Worcester, told WBJ the Summit Academy has indicated it needs more time before it moves from its current location on Jamesbury Street.

Now, with the aging building in dire need of repair, the firm is marketing the space to other tenants before the 104-year-old building becomes too costly to repair and renovate.

Michael O’Brien, executive vice president of WinnCos. and former Worcester city manager, said Summit Academy was slated to occupy the entire 48,000-square-foot building, but decided last week to hold off on a move for at least another year before signing a lease.

“They need some additional time to prepare for this big step,” O’Brien said, adding the door is still open for the academy if a new tenant doesn't step in.
Full Article
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:38 PM   #471
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Re: Worcester Improvements

^^ Interesting pair of stories. What are the other vacant/languishing historic buildings in Worcester, btw? Believe there's an old courthouse, right? I feel like there are a few others as well...

Hopefully they all manage to avoid the unfortunate end of Notre Dame...
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:53 AM   #472
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Re: Worcester Improvements

The old Worcester Courthouse is together with the Auditorium and the old Vocational School on Lincoln Square at the north end of Main Street.
It is being redeveloped into apartments, construction is already well under way



Some interior renders after everything is done. The lobby looks great.





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Old 05-31-2019, 01:51 AM   #473
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Re: Worcester Improvements

Quote:
Walker Shoe factory slated for residential project worth up to $7M

By Zachary Comeau
The former Walker, J. H. and G. M. Shoe Factory at 28 Water St. has been sold for $660,000 to a Chelsea-based developer who plans to create 62 studio or one-bedroom apartments in the 150-year-old building.

Anthony Rossi, an attorney and historic reuse developer, said he expects the project to cost between $5 million and $7 million. He plans to name the building the Walker Lofts in an homage to the factory.

The apartment complex will come equipped with a new elevator, fitness room, small dog park and an outdoor space, Rossi said.

Plans have been filed with the city, but land-use boards have yet to take up the proposal.

The building has been vacant for years and previous projects to renovate the building never got off the ground, including a 2015 proposal for just 20 residential units and commercial uses on the first floor of the five-story building.

Records show the Planning Board approved the site plan, but it’s unclear why that project didn’t get built.
Full Article

And for a little more background on the building and the failed 2015 development plan, here's an old T&G article for reference.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:28 AM   #474
WormtownNative
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Re: Worcester Improvements

Quote:
Originally Posted by itchy View Post
^^ Interesting pair of stories. What are the other vacant/languishing historic buildings in Worcester, btw? Believe there's an old courthouse, right? I feel like there are a few others as well...

Hopefully they all manage to avoid the unfortunate end of Notre Dame...
Oh there's plenty more. Just look at the stretch of Main St between Madison and Highland and some of the side streets. The old Worcester Market at Main & Madison has the potential to be beautiful if someone puts the effort into it. Same with the Olympia.

There's also the Elmwood Adams building. From back in April, Elmwood Adams Hardware (once known as the oldest hardware store in the US) closed and the building owners now seek to redevelop to mixed use.

Quote:
Elwood Adams building owner hopes for tax help on $4M project

By Zachary Comeau

...Elwood Main, LLC, an entity registered to BradyMac Capital Advisory, wants to create 13 one-bedroom apartments on the upper floors of the property, which have been vacant for years, City Manager Edward Augustus said in a letter to city councilors asking the body to approve the deal.

The project includes 1,700 square feet of retail or restaurant space on the bottom floor. The apartments will range in size from 700 square feet to 1,000 square feet. The developer hopes to complete the project in fall 2020.

BradyMac Capital Advisory is seeking a Housing Development Certified Project designation to be eligible for a state investment tax credit of $850,000.

That would be in addition to the proposed local tax agreement provides for a 30% exemption over a 10-year period, resulting in estimated savings of just under $60,000, Chief Development Officer Michael Traynor said in correspondence to Augustus.

What is slated for the bottom-floor retail portion of the project is still in limbo, but marijuana retailer Bloominus Holdings is hoping to open in a portion of the space.
WB Journal

However, Worcester has its issues. The WRTA is in a self-exacerbating problem of low-ridership and low frequencies in a never ending vicious cycle. Also, Worcester was just found to have the 5th highest amount of homeless students in the country.
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Old 05-31-2019, 04:01 AM   #475
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Re: Worcester Improvements

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Originally Posted by WormtownNative View Post
The old Worcester Market at Main & Madison has the potential to be beautiful if someone puts the effort into it.

They had ambitious plans to convert the Worcester Market back into a public market place with local produce, but sadly they current owner and prospective buyer couldn’t get on the same page.

They already had a slick promotional video about their plans:
https://vimeo.com/228436137

Would have been great, but it looks like that building will remain as office space in the foreseeable future. It’s not included in the city’s downtown revitalization zone.
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Old 05-31-2019, 09:14 AM   #476
SlothofDespond
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Re: Worcester Improvements

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Originally Posted by cubalibre View Post
Federal Square in front of the Hanover theater is being expanded to make it more pedestrian friendly. Southbridge Street is rerouted which means the amphitheater and beautiful (non-working) fountain are dismantled, which is unfortunate. All trees have been cut down. The city says it plans to rebuild the fountain and amphitheater elsewhere, but did not disclose where.
Making that street a pedestrian mall makes sense. It's a low traffic street and the triangle with the fountain and columns is a pedestrian dead zone. There's a coffee shop and a nice lunch spot (Theatre Cafe) right in that area too. I think they could create the pedestrian mall while keeping the fountains and columns in place though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WormtownNative View Post
However, Worcester has its issues. The WRTA is in a self-exacerbating problem of low-ridership and low frequencies in a never ending vicious cycle. Also, Worcester was just found to have the 5th highest amount of homeless students in the country.
There was a T&G story about a city counselor openly questioning the existence of the WRTA in its current state earlier this week. I don't think any official plans are in the works or major changes are on the foreseeable horizon but the lack of ridership is starting to get attention.

Downtown is also starting to flood with homeless people. More than in the past. I'm in the main public library regularly and it's unfortunately common to see the police in there dealing with an issue. Usually a problem in the bathrooms.
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:05 AM   #477
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Re: Worcester Improvements

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Originally Posted by SlothofDespond View Post
There was a T&G story about a city counselor openly questioning the existence of the WRTA in its current state earlier this week. I don't think any official plans are in the works or major changes are on the foreseeable horizon but the lack of ridership is starting to get attention.

Downtown is also starting to flood with homeless people. More than in the past. I'm in the main public library regularly and it's unfortunately common to see the police in there dealing with an issue. Usually a problem in the bathrooms.
The WRTA just needs to go back to the drawing board. They're using transit buses to go from the hub to far flung areas that just don't have any sort of catchment (exception being Southbridge, but even at that, that's a long trip in a transit bus back out and back). They need to reevaluate their routes and frequencies. They might just need to cut back to Worcester and do the small community shuttles or a commuter bus from certain towns. Some of their trips are rather ambitious for logical bus routes.

System Map (PDF)

As for the rest, I can't say I'm surprised. It's much like anywhere else in the Commonwealth and in the country.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:25 AM   #478
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Re: Worcester Improvements

Polar Park's groundbreaking has been set for next Thursday. Seems likely that we'll also get a real design at that point, based on this article from June 1st:

https://www.telegram.com/news/201906...mpression=true

Quote:
"The design should be set a couple months from now," Quirk said, "so in a month and a half, two months, I think everyone will get to see what we hope it will look like, and I hope everyone will be excited."
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:58 PM   #479
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Re: Worcester Improvements

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Polar Park's groundbreaking has been set for next Thursday. Seems likely that we'll also get a real design at that point, based on this article from June 1st:

https://www.telegram.com/news/201906...mpression=true
I'm not optimistic this will come in on time and on budget. If I remember correctly, they're already behind schedule due to property acquisitions and the shovels haven't even hit the ground yet.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:37 PM   #480
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Re: Worcester Improvements

In other news, the long vacant, "General Screw Machine Products" building over on Shrewsbury Street is being proposed for mixed-use redevelopment:

Quote:
Vacant historic manufacturing building on Shrewsbury St. to become apartments

Grant Welker

The vacant General Screw Machine Products on Worcester's Shrewsbury Street would be renovated and expanded to commercial and residential use under a proposal going before the Planning Board on Wednesday night.

The nearly century-old two-story brick building at 383 Shrewsbury St. would be converted into a commercial or retail use along Shrewsbury Street, with the rear of the building being used as a 20-space parking garage. The second floor and a new third floor addition would include 28 apartments.
FULL ARTICLE

Last edited by WormtownNative; 07-03-2019 at 10:08 PM.
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