January 4, 2012 | last updated April 19, 2012 1:52 pm

Unum Tops Off CitySquare HQ

CitySquare, the 2.1 million-square-foot development that will replace the former Worcester Common Outlets mall, reached a construction milestone Wednesday with the completion of the eight-story steel frame.

Frederick Eppinger, president and CEO of the Hanover Insurance Group, braced against the 17-degree cold in front of the erected frame that may not ever have ever existed without The Hanover's help.

"We all know how horrible the past two or three years have been for the economy," Eppinger said. "It's not a lot of cities that get to have cranes."

Moments later, a white crane towering several hundred feet above his head lifted a steel beam - adorned with an American flag and a tree and signed by construction workers and others - into place atop the frame that will house Tennessee-based insurer Unum and its 700 employees about a year from now.

Eppinger, who knows all too well the catastrophic weather over the past year, noted the irony in that Worcester has seen little snowfall so far this winter, which has allowed CitySquare to make more progress.

The Hanover's real estate investment arm took over the development of the 2.1 million-square-foot CitySquare development in 2010 after the project had stalled under a previous developer.

Unum has signed a 17-year lease. The other announced tenant is Vanguard Health Systems, owner of Saint Vincent Medical Center, which plans to build a cancer center.

"We are now over $100 million of private investment with the Vanguard announcement and well on our way to twice that if we can keep the momentum going," Eppinger said.

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