November 26, 2018

Worcester plans to acquire 24 properties & demolish 18 buildings for WooSox project

Photo | Courtesy
A rendering of the new home of the Pawtucket Red Sox, soon to be the Worcester Red Sox.
Courtesy | City of Worcester
This graphic shows the extended Urban Renewal Plan boundaries to the east and south.

To help facilitate the $240-million redevelopment effort centered around a $101-million ballpark in the Canal District, the Worcester Redevelopment Authority is seeking state approval to extend a 2016 Urban Renewal Plan, which includes acquiring more than 20 properties and tearing down 18 buildings.

The project -- including a 10,000-seat stadium for the new home of the Pawtucket Red Sox and a two-phase mixed-use development from Boston-based Madison Properties -- is already located in the 118-acre urban revitalization area, but expanding the plan by 21 acres can help with property acquisitions and modifications to parcel assemblage.

The revamped plan was prepared by consulting and engineering firms BSC Group of Worcester and Epsilon Associates of Maynard. An environmental filing for the project change was submitted to the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs as the combined projects will require an environmental impact report.

Per the expanded plan, the city is now eyeing including an additional 33 properties in the urban renewal plan and the demolition of 18 buildings to facilitate the development. The city will look to acquire only 24 of those properties for the stadium development. The remaining nine will not be acquired.

The original plan stopped along the vacant Wyman-Gordon site, which is the primary property on which the project is planned. The amendment stretches that boundary about a block to the east from Washington Street to Green Street and Kelley Square and nearly 10 parcels of the southern side of Lamartine Street.

The amended plan was unclear on which properties would be acquired.

Read the entire document here:

The city will be responsible for assembling the properties to build the ballpark, which will be leased to the team. The state will construct a parking garage on the property.

On adjacent land, Madison Properties will build a $90-million development including hotels, retail and residential uses.

Per agreements signed with the city, team and Madison Properties, construction on the project is expected to begin next July, and the ballpark must be completed in time for the 2021 baseball season.

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