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February 26, 2024

Two apartments, retail space planned for narrow Harding Street building

Image | Courtesy of Google Maps 51 Harding St. in Worcester's Canal District

A distinct Worcester building on Harding Street that is over 123-years-old and just 19 feet wide could see new life as a multi-use space featuring a retail storefront and two apartment units. 

Owners of 51 Harding St., the former site of M. Goldstein Scrap Metal, are seeking to transform the ground floor of the building into a retail space and construct one-bedroom apartment units on both the second and third floors of the building, according to documents submitted to the Worcester Planning Board uploaded on Friday. 

The plans, submitted by property owner Williston Development LLC of Worcester, call for a roof deck for tenants on the top of the building and the construction of an exterior elevator shaft to increase the building's square footage from 3,534 to 4,825 square feet. 

Building plans
Image | Courtesy of Worcester Planning Board, plans by Stephen Fleshman Architect, LLC
The owners of 51 Harding St. want to revitalize the building by adding a retail storefront on the ground floor and two apartments above.

Other planned improvements to the building include the creation of four compact parking spaces, a covered bike rack, and a two-foot stone wall on the corner of Harding and Franklin Streets.

The building is listed as having been built in 1900, with Williston Development having bought the property in 2018 for $275,000, according to City of Worcester property records. The property was given a tax assessment value of $234,200 for fiscal 2024.

The three people listed as the managers behind Williston Development in its filings with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth – Glenn Frohring, Michael Ortolano, Nathan Smith – are executives with the manufacturer Absolute Haitian, a plastics injection molding machinery company headquartered on Southgate Street in Worcester.

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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