Worcester Real Estate is on the Move

Christine Hochkeppel

Christine Hochkeppel

Julian Kates '20

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The city of Worcester is currently experiencing a major urban revitalization period. As a resident of Worcester, in recent years I have witnessed first hand many dilapidated buildings converted into restaurants filled with vibrant young crowds. One of the more recent developmental projects that has been announced by Worcester’s district attorney office is a rejuvenation of a building on Main Street located across from historic Mechanics Hall. Some people might recognize this 40 year old building from David O. Russell’s academy award nominated movie, American Hustle, featuring A-list stars including Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Known as the Central building, it will undergo a 26 million dollar renovation converting it into an apartment building with 55 mixed-income apartments. This project will be accompanied by another project, which is set to convert Worcester’s old courthouse in Lincoln Square into another apartment building.

The courthouse project in Lincoln Square, is being funded by the Boston firm Trinity Financial, who will piece together historic tax credits as well as loans in order to complete the project. The courthouse will boast 122 units, which will be priced affordably for Worcester’s youthful and older crowds, as well as several potential spaces for retail. Although Trinity Financial does not have all the details worked out, the building is set for renovation to start the Fall of 2018 and to be completed by the summer of 2020.

While Worcester’s boom of apartments and surge of restaurants is good for attracting a younger crowd towards the city, it does bare downsides. The Notre Dame Church, which is located at 5 Salem Square in downtown Worcester, has been marked for demolition. CitySquare, a $565 million development project, recently finished up an agreement which would allow them to knock the 88 year old church down so that they can construct another building which would have 84 apartments. Worcester’s more sentimental population may view the tearing down of the beautiful and historic church as nothing less than a crime, but others like city manager Ed Augustus Jr. said that he believes that “The strength of the renaissance downtown continues.” Augustus said he feels that this is an uncommon situation in which the owners of the church, Roseland Residential Trust (who are working on a $92 million project in which 365 luxury apartments will be constructed), need to complete their larger project before they can deal with the smaller of the two.

The revitalization of Worcester, which may seem either genius or mercenary to you, is undoubtedly a huge change for the once industrial city. Wherever the change may lead Worcester in the future, for right now it is just fun to sit back and watch.

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