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February 26, 2024

Child care center, office planned for Worcester parcel currently owned by Boy Scouts

A wooded area with a real estate sign in front Image | Courtesy of Google Maps A Developer is planning a child care center and an office building at 561 Plantation St.

A developer is planning on building a child care center and a small office building at a site on Plantation Street in Worcester, adjacent to the Coal Mine Brook and an off-ramp for Interstate 290.

The project, revealed by filings to the Worcester Planning Board uploaded to the City’s website on Friday, calls for the construction of two one-story buildings at 561 Plantation St. 

One building would be a 10,000-square-foot child care facility operated by The Learning Experience, a Florida-based entity with more than 450 child daycare centers across the United States. The second building slated for Plantation Street would be a 5,000-square-foot facility reserved for an office. 

The entity behind the proposal is 247 West Central St Inc., a Littleton-based entity managed by the operators of existing The Learning Experience locations, including Milford, Foxborough, and Andover.

Image | Courtesy of Worcester Planning Board, rendering by Highpoint Engineering
The proposed location for the development is on Plantation Street, across the road from the City's Coal Mine Brook Park.

The parcel at 561 Plantation St. is currently owned by The Heart of New England Council, a Boy Scouts of America council formed in 2018 following the mergers of the Nashua Valley Council, which served the northern part of Worcester County, and the Mohegan Council, which served the Greater Worcester metro area. Mohegan acquired the property in 1998, according to City of Worcester property records. 

The property is under contract with a new buyer, according to a listing for the property on the website of Worcester real estate brokerage firm Kelleher Sadowsky. It is fairly common practice for developers to hold off on officially buying a property until the necessary planning and zoning approvals are obtained.

The parcel is currently an undeveloped wooded area, with the exception of an existing asphalt driveway. The application materials for the project note the property is subject to existing conservation restrictions held by the Greater Worcester Land Trust, limiting development to a building envelope area, which makes up 60% of the property. The new buildings will be located in this area, with the rest of the parcel remaining forested. An existing GWLT nature trail located near the site will remain.

The application is set for review during the Worcester Planning Board meeting on Wednesday night. 

Mark Borenstein of Worcester law firm Bowditch & Dewey, LLP is representing the developer for this project.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated from a previous version to include details on the developer of this project's representation.

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