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July 2, 2024

Lundgren axes plans for seven-story apartment building on Shrewsbury Street

Rendering of a plaza Rendering | Courtesy of Worcester Planning Board - Rendering by NES Group Architects A 218-unit apartment building slated for 225 Shrewsbury St. in Worcester is off the table due to market conditions, according to the property owner. Plans for the site have pivoted to renovating the plaza to add two new commercial spaces.

A 218-unit apartment building slated for 225 Shrewsbury St. in Worcester is off the table, as market conditions have caused the developer of the site to pivot to adding to the plaza’s retail presence and constructing an upgraded DCU branch at the location. 

Auburn-based Lundgren Equity Partners is proposing to demolish a warehouse at the site to make way for an upgraded DCU branch and two new retail spaces.

The plans, submitted on June 21 ahead of the Worcester Planning Board’s July 10 meeting, call for the demolition of the current DCU branch’s drive-through facilities and an adjacent warehouse to make way for a new building of approximately 15,370 square feet.

These plans are a change from the seven-story apartment building planned for the site. Lundgren had applied for an extension for the project in April, citing labor costs, supply chain issues, and reduced access to financing.

Those same conditions have now caused the firm to rethink those plans entirely; the firm is now taking a wait-to-see approach to see how other housing projects that are under construction or have been completed in 2024 shake out, said Tyler Alten, partner at Lundgren Equity.

“Due to market conditions, apartments are tough to make work,” he said.

Renderings of a bank and two retail spaces
Rendering | Courtesy of Worcester Planning Board - Rendering by NES Group Architects
Plans for Shrewsbury Street Marketplace now call for the creation of two new commercial spaces and the replacement of the current DCU branch at the site with an upgraded building.

The company still plans on moving forward with plans to construct an 87-unit apartment across the street at 224 Shrewsbury St., the site of a private parking lot, said Alten.

Instead of the seven-story apartment building at 225 Shrewsbury St., the new building at Shrewsbury Street Marketplace will include a newly built 5,700-square-foot DCU branch with two drive-thru lanes, with the remaining 9,670 square feet being divided by the two new commercial units. 

The new commercial spaces will be located next to the existing retail space at the plaza, with the newly constructed DCU branch being located near the corner of Albany and Casco Streets. 

Existing retail space at the Shrewsbury Street Marketplace plaza, which includes InHouse Coffee, Gentle Dental, Mexicali Cantina Grill, and All Systems Go Esports Facility, will not be impacted by the plaza’s redesign, according to submitted planning documents.

In addition to site plan approval, the project will need special permits to reduce parking requirements and allow for the modified drive-thru. The reconfigured parking lot will have room for 109 spaces. 

Other site improvements called for in the plans include new driveways and accessible walkways, an upgraded facade along Casco Street, a bicycle storage area, and EV charging stations. 

Joshua Lee Smith of Worcester-based law firm Bowditch & Dewey is representing Lundgren Equity for this project. 

Eric Casey is a staff writer at Worcester Business Journal, who primarily covers the manufacturing and real estate industries. 

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