June 19, 2018

WBDC seeks demolition of old State Hospital building

Photo | Grant Welker
The WBDC hopes to demolish the former Bryan Building at Worcester State Hospital to make way for a biomanufacturing park.

The Worcester Business Development Corp. is seeking to demolish a long-vacant part of the former Worcester State Hospital now that a Chinese biomanufacturer has signed an agreement to locate there.

The eight-story brick Bryan Building at 305 Belmont St. was part of the mental health facility but has been vacant for years. It was built in 1955, which requires a delay in demolition because of its age. The former state hospital is part of a National Register of Historic places district.

But the WBDC is requesting a waiver to the demolition delay, which the Worcester Historical Commission is scheduled to hear at its June 21 meeting.

Earlier this month, WuXi Biologics, a Chinese biotech company, said it will build a $60-million facility at what the WBDC plans will be a new biomanufacturing park in an area between drug maker AbbVie and the UMass Medical School and a related research campus. The project includes up to $21 million in state and local incentives.

WuXi said the Worcester operations, its first in the United States, will include about 150 new jobs. The company's commitment to the site was a coup for the WBDC, which had a previous company, the California-based biologics company LakePharma, back out of a potential deal last year.

The WBDC was given 44 acres at the former Worcester State Hospital in early 2017. It has also helped develop Gateway Park and 20 Franklin St., the former Telegram & Gazette offices, among other Worcester-area developments


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