A $1.3-million sale has closed on the former Worcester Boys Club to turn the facility into Creative Hub Worcester, an artists' center with event and performance spaces, studios and an art gallery.
The Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, which announced the purchase Thursday, bought the Ionic Avenue site. Plans for the center were first proposed last summer.
"The closing is a significant milestone in that we can actually make our plans for the renovation more concrete," said Cheryl Tougias, a board member for the Arts and Business Council.
Creative Hub Worcester is slated to open in the fall of 2018 after a $2.3-million renovation to improve the interior, install new mechanical and electrical systems and make the building handicapped accessible.
The center will give Worcester artists a space unlike anything available how, where they can rent studios at affordable rates and share equipment such as kilns that would otherwise be too costly.
"Our vision for Creative Hub Worcester is to serve as a cornerstone for partnerships and opportunities that will strengthen our community," said Stacy Lord, who co-founded Creative Hub Worcester in 2015 with Laura Marotta, the president of the Massachusetts Art Education Association.
The Arts and Business Council will lease the space to Creative Hub Worcester, who will then sublease the studios.
Work is slated to start this fall and may include use of historic tax credits, Tougias said. The center is the first of the Arts and Business Council's creative campus program, in which it hopes to help create such centers in communities across Greater Boston.
The center will be available for limited public use, with rent from those events helping to cover expenses, Tougias said.