February 26, 2018

Medical building to take over Worcester manufacturing site

Old manufacturing facilities on Grove Street in Worcester are slated to be demolished for a new three-story office building.

A three-story 45,900-square-foot medical office building has been approved for a Grove Street site in Worcester long used for metal fabrication.

Plans call for transforming "a tired manufacturing facility with environmental issues to a modern medical office building," an attorney for the project, Mark Donahue of the Worcester law firm Fletcher Tilton, told the Worcester Planning Board.

The building would be one of few new office buildings built in the city in recent years, but joins a 40,000-square-foot office building that was approved by the city last year for a mixed-use site across Grove Street.

The structure would be set far back from Grove Street in sharp contrast to the current structure, which stands directly on the edge of the sidewalk along the street.

The Planning Board unanimously approved the new office building at its Feb. 15 meeting.

Existing structures at the site will be demolished. The owner studied potential reuse but found it to be not viable because of the structures' condition and environmental concerns, Donahue said. The buildings were built in several phases, with distinct architectural differences. A traditional brick building there was built in 1920, according to city records. The metal fabrication company Lutco operated on the site.

The property, spread over two parcels, under agreement to be bought by Worcester developer Tim Rassias for about $1.6 million. Rassias said the office building already has a first-floor tenant tentatively leased for 15 years.

Demolition of the existing buildings could start as soon as next month, with the new office building open by the spring of 2019.

The site is now owned by GAP Real Estate and was last assessed for $1,099,400. GAP Real Estate bought the site in 1994. It sits across Grove Street from the former Worcester Regional Transit Authority facility that has been approved for a 65,000-square-foot development with its own medical office building and some retail.

That project, called Trolley Yard, calls for a two-story, 40,000-square-foot office building and three single-story buildings totaling 11 retail spaces.

Auburn-based Galaxy Development bought the site from the WRTA in 2016 for $3.8 million.


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