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March 15, 2024

Project at former Fairway Beef site the latest Worcester housing development facing delays

Image | RODE Architects RODE Architects' rendering of AKROS Development's project at 102 Temple St. in Worcester

Another Worcester area housing development is facing delays due to the current economic climate and supply chain issues.

The 105-unit mixed-use housing development at the former location of the Fairway Beef meat market proposed by 102 Temple Street LLC, an entity managed by AKROS Development of Boston, is seeking an extension of the variance needed from the Worcester Zoning Board of Appeals until Sept. 12. This is the second extension that AKROS has requested for this project.

In a letter to the Zoning Board of Appeals, Joshua Lee Smith, a partner at Worcester law firm Bowditch & Dewey, requested the extension on behalf of AKROS. Smith said in the letter the delay was a result of labor and supply chain shortages, as well as the difficulty in obtaining funding for the project.

“[The] Applicant has been forced to delay commencement of work associated with the Project due to challenges with respect to labor and supply chain issues and access to financing and capital related to the rise of inflation, and interest rates, instability of the banking system and an overall slowdown in the commercial real estate market.” the letter reads.

The nine-story building was first proposed in September 2022, with plans calling for 1,000 square feet of commercial space on the building’s ground floor. The building used by Fairway Beef, which operated at 44 Grafton Street/102 Temple Street from 1946 until July 2021, would be demolished to make way for the new structure.

This housing project is the latest to face delays, downsizing, or cancellation. Proposals to build housing developments at 3 Eaton Place and the former site of Smokestack Urban BBQ are in doubt after those properties were re-listed for sale, and a number of other developments in the city have either scaled back plans or asked city officials for extensions, often citing supply shortages and difficulties in acquiring financing.

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