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March 9, 2023

Worcester’s Pleasant Street businesses can get up to $20K to improve storefronts

A brick building with an arched entryway and red awning to the side Photo | Timothy Doyle A historic mixed-use building in the Pleasant Street TDI district

Storefronts along Pleasant Street in Worcester may soon be getting a facelift with the help of MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative.

Property owners and business owners with their landlord’s permission in the TDI district can apply to be reimbursed for up to 95% of eligible costs for a façade improvement project up to $20,000. The program has a total of $40,000 available.

“The grant aims to address occupied buildings with deteriorating conditions and/or encourage property enhancements, to create vibrancy, beautification, improve a sense of individual safety,
increase necessary pedestrian activity to attract the public from in and outside the district, to support current businesses, to create new business opportunities and generate economic development for Pleasant Street business districts,” according to the grant application.

Recipients will be chosen by the TDI partners, which is made up of local businesses and organizations including TDI MassDevelopment, the City of Worcester, Worcester Common Ground, Inc., which administers the funds, Guardian Fast Trek Systems, Inc., Hilltop Group Holdings, LLC, McElwee Inc. dba The Raven, Pleasant Street Neighborhood Network Center, TLK Sports, LLC, Ed Hyder’s Mediterranean Marketplace, and Worcester Housing Authority.

The TDI partners are reviewing applications for another program, the Small Business Support Grant, worth up to $5,000 each. The group received 15 applications, and recipients will be announced by the end of March.

The Pleasant Street TDI district is Worcester’s third area selected by MassDevelopment for TDI funding. The first was the Theater District in downtown Worcester, and Worcester’s Main South neighborhood graduated from the program in 2022.

The MassDevelopment program concentrates economic development activities, resources, and investments in a designated neighborhood for terms of two to four years. TDI districts are mixed-use commercial areas defined as walkable and dense and are located in the 26 Gateway Cities like Fitchburg, Worcester, Lowell, and Springfield.

For more information on applying for the Commercial Storefront or Façade Improvement Grant Program, contact TDI Senior Fellow Ivette Olmeda at

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March 25, 2023

I'm assuming the people on the board will be receiving the funds for their own buildings. Sounds like a scam

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