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March 1, 2023

Worcester City Council receptive to proposed $11M tax break for Franklin St. development

Image | Worcester Planning Board - Rendering by Maugel DeStefano Architects A planned development by GoVenture Capital Group at 274 Franklin St. in Worcester

Worcester developer GoVenture Capital Group, LLC, has requested an $11.3-million tax break over 15 years for its planned 364-unit apartment complex on Franklin St. in Worcester.

GoVenture will partner with development giant, The Michaels Organization of Camden New Jersey, to build the $130-million project, according to a letter of interest submitted to the City’s Chief Development Officer Peter Dunn.

In the Worcester City Council review of the tax break on Tuesday, the members moved the matter to their Economic Development Standing Committee while generally voicing their approval of the tax break and the development.

During the 15-year period beginning in 2027, the property owner will pay between 20% and 50% of taxes on the property. The City anticipates during that period the owner will pay approximately $6.4 million in property taxes, while being exempt from $11.3 million.

The City estimates the property owner will pay $1.3 million annually in taxes after the TIE period ends in 2042.

The developer has agreed to set aside 36 one-bedroom apartments for people making less than 60% of area median income, currently just over $53,000 for a household of two, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. According to estimates by the developer, the apartments will be offered at a rental price of $1,243 per month.

The remainder of the units include 109 studios, 181 one-bedroom units, and 44 two-bedroom units, leasing for an estimated $1,900 - $2,350 per month. The development was originally proposed for 421 units, but GoVenture reduced the number of units proposed in November.

Because the development was proposed prior to the adoption of Inclusionary Zoning by the city council, it will not be subject to the ordinance if that measure is passed.

Construction on the project is expected to begin in April, with completion in April 2025.

The Michaels Organization is GoVenture’s investment partner to construct and operate the development, according to the letter of intent. The company has constructed over 55,000 units of housing and manages an addition. The company doesn’t list any prior Massachusetts projects on its website, but it was recently chosen to potentially redevelop a 2.8-acre site in Hartford.

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