Worcester Ballpark & Redev

meddlepal

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It will be fine. The Red Sox still need a AAA team. Independent league's like the former CanAm are probably toast though.
 

citydweller

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Interesting how this will play out now as the initial plans for paying off the debt is now in peril.

"Augustus said the city will be looking at recapitalizing more of the interest on the debt service in the early years and pushing it off to the later years. He said that would give the city a bit more breathing room.
We may need to restructure the debt in those first couple of years, depending what exactly the delay looks like,” he said.
 

cubalibre

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That five story mixed-use building next to the diamond is on hold due to the anticipated downturn in office space demand; they’ll seal the foundation to continue construction at a later point:

D42981F4-97F7-49F6-BEB5-8296B0948FDD.jpeg


More impressions:

C994F6A4-0D3E-4F60-8428-361FC96C9BFF.jpeg

057D5C6F-1611-46E0-811C-E86D7BF247AC.jpeg
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Some foamer on NERail has decided that the WooSox construction site is his new perfect place to photograph the Lake Shore Ltd.



The postings--all of them Amtrak trains--have been more or less weekly for the past month, so I guess that's shaping up to be an oblique way to monitor construction progress. (Nice kite, BTW.)
 

WormtownNative

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Under negotiation: Worcester yet to finalize PawSox deal or obtain deed for ballpark property

More than two years after Worcester city officials announced the Pawtucket Red Sox were moving to the Canal District, there is no formal lease agreement legally obligating the team to come to Worcester.

And about six months before the minor league baseball team is scheduled to begin play in a new $132-million public stadium, the city government still doesn't own the property on which its ballpark sits, even as construction on the project is well underway.

Also, the city has no binding agreement with Boston developer Madison Properties to build a $125-million mixed-use project just outside the ballpark, which the city is relying heavily upon to create new tax revenue to allow the city-owned Polar Park to pay for itself.

While this lack of formal agreements is unusual and behind schedule, they don’t mean the PawSox aren’t moving to Worcester or the mixed-use project won’t happen, especially because the team, the city and the developer all have been very vocal and public about their commitment to the massive development. The PawSox, for example, held three Worcester ceremonies in the span of one week in August — two for construction milestones and another to unveil the jerseys the team will wear after it moves.

However, the lack of signed documents does give the PawSox and Madison negotiating power over the city, at a time when the construction costs are over budget and the coronavirus pandemic coupled with economic uncertainty calls into question the near-term viability of the surrounding development.
Full Article

Welp, my taxes are about to shoot through the roof.
 

WormtownNative

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It gets better.

Hotel, apartment development surrounding Polar Park shrinks and is delayed 2 years

By Grant Welker

The planned $125-million mixed-use development surrounding the Polar Park baseball stadium in the Canal District will be smaller than anticipated and be realized about two years later than initially scheduled, according to a report to the Worcester City Council from City Manager Edward Augustus released on Friday.

This hotel-apartment-office-retail development from Boston-based Madison Properties has been planned as key to the city paying for the 30-year financing on the $132-million public baseball stadium for the minor league Worcester Red Sox without having to tap the city's pre-existing tax revenue streams. According to Augustus' report, the stadium development will still pay for itself through the tax collections on the specially created district surrounding the ballpark, as the city has restructured its debt repayment schedule and will realize revenues from other developments on the site.

The report on Madison's development on Friday detailed the changes to the five aspects of the property, showing some have been reduced in size, and whose completion has been delayed until September 2022 or later, with the last aspect completed in December 2024:
  • The planned hotel development is dropping from $40 million to $11.7 million. Instead of being 262 hotel rooms split among two hotel brands is now a single hotel with 125 rooms. The project is now expected to be complete by May 2024, about two years later than last expected.
  • A planned $15.6-million office building slated to be complete at the same time as the ballpark — next April — will now be pushed back to 2023. The value of this development has increased from a projected $12.8 million in January.
  • A first residential building previously planned to open in September 2021 will now be ready a year later on September 2022. In January, Augustus said this building would have 225 units along with retail on the first floor. His report on Friday didn't provide an updated on the size or value of that building.
  • A second 125-unit residential building initially planned to open in December 2022 will now be ready in December 2023. This building is now valued at $11.3 million. In January, Augustus pegged the value of the two residential buildings combined at $44.5 million.
  • A $10.8-million laboratory building planned for December 2023 will now open a year later in December 2024. The value of this building has been reduced from $17.8 million.
The report did not total the anticipated value of these construction projects. When originally announced in 2018, Madison was due to invest $140 million into the properties. In January, Augustus reported private development on the ballpark site had been reduced to $125 million. The value of four projects detailed in the report on Friday now totals $49.3 million, which doesn't include the first residential building whose value wasn't mentioned.

Many of the markets slated to make up the Madison development -- hotel, office space and retail -- have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

As the Worcester Business Journal reported Monday, the parking garage being built by the city and leased to Madison properties development's parking garage will also be delayed. The garage, which is relied upon in large part to provide parking for fans for Worcester Red Sox games, will now be ready by next fall instead of the spring.

The number of planned parking spaces in the garage has been reduced from 525 to 340. Because of the lower number of spaces, the amount in lease payments Madison is paying for the garage has dropped from $275,000 annually to $178,000. Those amounts are fixed for five years; in the following years, the lease payment is dropping from $300,000 annually to $194,000.
Full Article
 

WormtownNative

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In that article I liked (post #117), there's also this little bit of optimism:

Augustus' report unveils a potential second development next to the ballpark: the four-acre site where a Table Talk Pies manufacturing building now stands, for which Table Talk is in what Augustus called advanced talks with an unidentified developer for a new project. Table Talk broke ground this summer on a new industrial site on Gardner Street.

The report also said the city has found a buyer for five adjoined small parcels between Green Street and the ballpark site, a planned deal officials previously announced. The buyer is Churchill James, a limited liability corporation registered to Thomas Keane of Charlestown and Harry DiLeo of Worcester.

Churchill James is looking to build a candlepin bowling alley at the site, along with roughly 80 residential units in a five-story building, according to the city.

Churchill James is buying the site for $3 million, the city said, which offsets what the city paid for the properties. The city bought those properties — at 85 Green St., 2 Plymouth St., and 5, 7 and 8 Gold St. — as part of a deal to acquire an adjacent site needed to build the ballpark.
Article
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The WooSox construction site foamer's been back shooting CSX trains from the park. From NERail this weekend. . .

 

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