December 7, 2015
Power Players: Fresh Faces

Charles “Chip” Norton

To call Chip Norton a fresh face to Central Massachusetts is a little bit of a misnomer, since he has owned and/or developed several multi-million real estate projects in the region for years, but he was largely working behind the scenes until late October when his firm purchased two Front Street office towers in Worcester for $33 million.

Norton saw the potential for the Worcester commercial real estate market to greatly increase in value -- perhaps getting the $30-$40 per square foot that is typical closer to Boston -- so he plans on investing $36 million in upgrades to the two properties and focusing on adding retail and the right commercial tenants that can turn downtown into an 18-hour destination.

If Norton is successful, the rise in property values will lead to more downtown office space being sold and will have a ripple effect throughout the region.

On the same day that he announced his $36-million renovation, UMass Memorial Health Care said it would move 500 information-technology workers into the towers -- a strong first step to getting tenants with the right fit for the downtown Norton revisions.

Read about other Central Massachusetts Power Players

Change Agents: Executives bringing their organizations to new heights

Visionaries: Forward thinkers pushing to realize the promises of the future

Politicos: Public officials leveraging their positions to further business development

Fresh Faces: Newcomers to Central Massachusetts with refreshing perspectives and ideas

Inner Circle: Long-time players who continue to have a significant role in new developments

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