December 4, 2017

Rucker buys deadhorse hill building for $2.7M

Zachary Comeau
With the 281 Main St. purchase, Cliff Rucker now owns the entire block of Main Street.

Worcester Railers owner and businessman Cliff Rucker on Friday purchased the Main Street block housing popular restaurant deadhorse hill for $2.65 million.

In addition to deadhorse hill, the building includes the restaurant Rice Violet, the salon Friendly Nails, and law and commercial offices on the upper floors. The block is adjacent to two other buildings Rucker owns, the Worcester Palladium and the 311 Main St. building housing law firm Bowditch & Dewey.

The sale closed Friday, according to the Worcester County Registry of Deeds. Timothy Murray, president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce announced the sale at the chamber's annual meeting on Friday. Rucker, though, has not returned calls for comment about the sale.

The $2.65-million purchase furthers Rucker's investment in Worcester since he announced the formation of the minor league hockey Worcester Railers in 2015. The team began its inaugural season in October.

In 2016, he purchased the Bowditch & Dewey building for $2.8 million; and in June bought a 25-percent stake in the 3,000-seat Palladium, with an option to buy the remaining 75 percent over two years.

He helped build the $18-million Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center, the practice facility for the Railers and area college and high school teams. He also renovated 90 Commercial St. into a Railers-themed bar that opened in October

Rucker could not be reached for comment Monday, but President and CEO of Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce Tim Murray said Rucker has been a key figure in the city's recent growth.

"From a development point of view, it presents some unique and exciting opportunities in that he now has control and ownership of the full block," Murray said.

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