November 16, 2017

Worcester planners OK urban plaza at $3.8M WRTA site

Galaxy Development will build four buildings as part of a mixed-use retail plaza on Grove Street.

A 65,000-square-foot shopping plaza at the former Worcester Regional Transit Authority site on Grove Street has been approved after the developer changed the design to better fit in the neighborhood.

The Planning Board approved the four-building mixed-use plaza Wednesday, nearly a month after Auburn developer Galaxy Development first met with the board and about two months since city officials told Galaxy to redesign the plaza to fit the urban landscape.

On Oct. 25, the redesigned plans were unveiled to the Planning Board, which included new placements and configurations of buildings to make the plaza more aesthetically pleasing from the street.

Previous plans had the buildings facing inward and focused too much on the parking lot while the plaza itself is in a busy pedestrian area.

To accommodate those concerns, the sides of the buildings facing the street will be designed to resemble storefronts and landscaping in key areas of the site was reconfigured to accentuate the buildings.

Entrance and exit plans were redone, and brick pedestrian walkways were added to accommodate the populated area.

The Zoning Board of Appeals granted special permit approval for a drive thru earlier this month.

The site, according to Galaxy, has been demolished and is just about ready for building to begin after soil remediation is complete.

Galaxy Development bought the site at 287 Grove St. in March 2016 under the name Galaxy Grove LLC for $3.8 million. The city had a public bidding process for the five-acre site, with a $3-million minimum bid price.


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