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Updated: May 2, 2022 / The Power 50 for 2022

2022 Power 50: Charles Norton

Photo | Matt Wright Charles "Chip" Norton, managing director of Franklin Realty Advisors LLC, in Wellesley
Charles Norton Title Managing director Company Franklin Realty Advisors LLC, in Wellesley Residence Dover College University of New Hampshire Read all the 2020 Power 50 profiles here
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Charles Norton has already had a tremendous impact on the region’s development trajectory and shows no signs of slowing.

His investments in downtown Worcester began with a risky $33-million purchase of 100 and 120 Front Street back in 2015. Since then, he’s become one of the city’s most powerful developers and is the city’s ninth largest property taxpayer, while still finding time to help the community. For the past 18 months, he provided free space to UMass Memorial Health to operate a COVID-19 testing facility in the Mercantile Center.

This spring, Norton celebrated the long-awaited opening of a rooftop bar and restaurant known as The Mercantile. The restaurant adds vibrancy to The Mercantile Center, a bustling office hub in downtown Worcester, but is far from the finishing touches on Norton’s downtown plans. In March, he debuted plans for a 150-unit apartment building and 125-room hotel abutting his Mercantile Center, marking Norton’s ability to excel in almost every real estate sector.

Norton constructed at his Worcester Business Center a 1.4-megawatt carport canopy solar array, which will be one of the largest private solar commercial installations in Worcester. Similarly, his 150-acre, 14-building office Southbridge Innovation Center has steadily grown as an economic driver of the small town.

What sets the Central Mass. business community apart from the rest of the world? There is great opportunity in Central Massachusetts to develop new real estate opportunities and grow new businesses. The positive and willing attitude to create jobs and support a better lifestyle resounds with the elected and appointed officials, in a true team approach. Central Massachusetts truly welcomes new initiatives.

Avid athlete: I played hockey in Russia while attending high school and played for the University of New Hampshire, and I’m still an active hockey player today. In addition, I have run the Boston Marathon three times. As an active cyclist, I have participated in the annual Pan-Mass Challenge for the past 14 years, raising more than $125,000 for that most worthy organization.

Read all the 2020 Power 50 profiles here

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