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May 1, 2019

WRA to move on two more ballpark parcels

Photo/Grant Welker MedStar, an ambulance service, will have to quickly relocate from Washington Street under a time frame for the planned Worcester ballpark. Its owners have declined to comment.

The Worcester Redevelopment Authority is expected to begin the process of eminent domain takings for two more properties necessary for the $101 million ballpark project for the Pawtucket Red Sox. 

The WRA, the body responsible for the overall $240 million ballpark and mixed-use development, will be asked Thursday to adopt an order of taking for 62 Washington St. and 69 Washington St. 

Both properties, totaling about an acre, are owned by Worcester Ambulance LLC and home to Medstar Ambulance’s facility and the company’s parking lot.

The 26,000-square-foot building at 62 Washington St. was last assessed for just under $1 million while the parking lot across the street is valued by the city at just $53,300. 

The WRA has already begun the eminent domain process for three properties: 90 Washington, 127 Washington St. St., 134 Madison St, which are home to several businesses. Those properties include, respectively, a multi-tenant office building, Paul's Mobile Auto Glass and The Sublime Co., a small retail shop. 

The city also needs to acquire at least two more properties: 50 Washington St. and 2 Plymouth St., which are home to AMC Demolition Co. and several other Canal District businesses. 

The city needs to move quickly, as construction is slated to begin this summer. 

Worcester Chief Development Officer Michael Traynor has said that 11 businesses will need to be moved out so buildings can be demolished for the ballpark. 

Per eminent domain law, the city is required to help those businesses find a new home, and it has already begun to do so for several properties. The WRA will also be asked Thursday to approve relocation settlement agreements for businesses as several of those affected properties, including 90 Washington, 85 Green St., 2 Plymouth St., 5 Gold St., 7 Gold St. and 8 Gold St. 

One site, 85 Green St., had not previously been mentioned as a target of the WRA. The building currently houses AIDS Project Worcester, Restaurant Superstore 4 and Paper & Provisions Warehouse.

The Gold St. parcels are currently vacant and owned by Joseph Bafaro.

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