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March 29, 2019

WooSox developer buys Wyman-Gordon site for $6.1M

Photo | Grant Welker The company Wyman-Gordon has sold 18 acres of land for a planned 10,000-seat ballpark and mixed-use development.

Wyman-Gordon and Boston developer Madison Downtown Holdings have closed on a $6.1-million sale of land needed to help develop the $101-million ballpark for the Worcester Red Sox.

Wyman-Gordon on Friday announced the sale of the 18-acre stretch of land, which includes much of the ballpark site and all of where a related mixed-use development is expected to rise. 

Denis Dowdle of Madison Downtown Holdings is planning new apartment buildings, two hotels, retail space and restaurants to accommodate the 10,000-square-foot ballpark planned in the Canal District.

According to Mirick O’Connell, the two parties signed a purchase agreement in May 2018, three months before the city and Pawtucket Red Sox announced the team’s intention to move to Worcester for the 2021 season. 

Before that, Wyman-Gordon has been cleaning up the site and demolishing vacant factory buildings to prepare for a buyer.

The city is footing the $101-million bill for costs related to the ballpark. The team will pay back about $30 million of that in lease payments, plus an upfront payment of $6 million.

Site acquisition costs are included in the city's $101-million budget for the project.

Officials say tax revenue generated from Madison Downtown Holdings’ development will pay back the $101-million loan. The mixed-use development is slated to include 225 apartments and a total of 265,000 square feet of space.

The entire project, including the ballpark and the related development, is expected to cost $240 million. Construction is expected to begin in July.

The first phase of Madison Downtown Holdings' development is project to open in the spring of 2021, at the same time the team would begin play in Worcester.

Properties included in the sale were 115 Madison St., 37 and 40 Gold St., 0 Assonet St. and 149 Washington St. 

The assessed value of the properties Wyman-Gordon sold to Madison is just under $2.9 million.

In separate but related moves, the Worcester Redevelopment Authority is in the process of acquiring land needed for the ballpark itself and a parking garage. In December, city officials said seven properties need to be acquired for that portion of the project: 50 Washington St., 90 Washington St., 62 Washington St., 69 Washington St., 127 Washington St., 134 Madison St. and 2 Plymouth St.

Businesses located in the planned footprint of the ballpark include the ambulance company MedStar, Paul’s Mobile Auto Glass, the retail shop The Sublime Co., Autobody Supplies & Paint, and AMC Demolition.

The city said Friday that demolition of buildings to make way for the project is expected to start in June.

The city has said three more small parcels toward Green Street – 5, 7, and 6 Gold St. – would be listed for the possibility of future action.

The WRA has hired Providence-based Gilbane Building Co. and Los Angeles-based AECOM Hunt as construction managers and project manager Skanska to help build the project. Architecture firm D'Agostino Izzo Quirk Architects will design the ballpark and Sasaki the mixed-use development.

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