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Updated: January 6, 2020 Central Mass. In Brief

Greendale Mall to be demolished and redeveloped

PHOTO/GRANT WELKER The Greendale Mall has more store vacancies than operating stores.

Nearly one year after the Greendale Mall in Worcester was listed for sale, a Boston real estate development firm paid $7.1 million for the troubled shopping center on Dec. 23.

Finard Properties, the new owner plans to replace the 32-year-old shopping center with a mix of retail, apartments, and office space.

“It’s rare to get your hands on 23 acres in such a perfect location,” said CEO Todd Finard. “Worcester is a very exciting place to be, it has lots of energy, and we want to be part of its phenomenal growth.”

Under a proposal expected to emerge over the next year, Finard said the mall would be demolished to make way for apartment buildings, medical offices, and retail.

But don’t expect a covered mall. The era of enclosed shopping centers has passed, Finard said. The public has embraced places like Northborough Crossing and MarketStreet in Lynnfield with apartments, a health clinic, medical offices, and retail.

The zoning around the Greendale Mall at the junction of Interstates 290 and 190 near downtown allows for buildings up to 100 feet, or six or seven stories.

Finard said the precise number of apartments, the amount of square feet for medical office and the mix of retailers has not been determined.

But he said he wants the new center to serve the nearby neighborhoods in Worcester.

“If we do this right, my hope is what we build will be an amenity for the Greendale neighborhood,” Finard said.

Popular mall faded away

Built in 1987, the Greendale Mall was once a popular spot for shoppers with nearly four dozen retailers anchored by Best Buy.

But changes in consumer behavior, and newer, open-air malls like Lakeway Commons in Shrewsbury, have rendered the property with multiple store vacancies and a facility in need of much repair, including its roof.

Today, the Greendale Mall website lists 15 stores operating at the 309,000-square-foot property, anchored by TJ Maxx, Greendale Furniture, DSW, and Reliant Medical Group. The City of Worcester has assessed the property at $11.4 million.

Finard Properties has partnered with Prellwitz Chilinski Associates, a Cambridge architect and design team, and Bohler Engineering of Southborough on the project.

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