Worcester | Canal District infill/discussion

BeeLine

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Given the potential of this section of Worcester I thought it appropriate to start a thread. With the catalyst of Polar Park this area has the potential of being Worcesters equilivant of Boston's Seaport.

A little history first.
http://thecanaldistrict.com/the-history/

Lay of the land.

blackstone-map
 

BeeLine

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This is the first time I have walked around this area and I was surprised by what I found. First is that there is no canal. If your looking for the canal this is all you will find.https://flic.kr/p/2gRhcyy

This is unfortunate because if it did still have some parts of the original Blackstone Canal it could be fantastic. Second the potential for development is boundless.

I did not have the time to walk extensively but I did manage to go south on Canal Street to Kelly Sq. and north on Water Street back to Union Station.
Canal Street looking South.
https://flic.kr/p/2gRgsZK

https://flic.kr/p/2gRgr9A

https://flic.kr/p/2gRhbxq

https://flic.kr/p/2gRhbTf

https://flic.kr/p/2gRgsoE

https://flic.kr/p/2gRgwZ8

I think this is their practice facility because they play their home games at the DCU Center.

https://flic.kr/p/2gRhc7X

Lofts

Loft rear
 
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cubalibre

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The canal is still there, it's just buried under Harding street.
There has been an effort to excavate the old canal, however there are plenty of engineering challenges as it is partly used as a sewer, and would eliminate most of Harding street for vehicle traffic.

There's a youtube video on what that would look like:
https://youtu.be/k9frbYxDKE0
 

WormtownNative

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The canal is still there, it's just buried under Harding street.
There has been an effort to excavate the old canal, however there are plenty of engineering challenges as it is partly used as a sewer, and would eliminate most of Harding street for vehicle traffic.

There's a youtube video on what that would look like:
https://youtu.be/k9frbYxDKE0
Believe the plan was to shut down Harding to vehicles completely with that and just install a pool mimicking the canal. Regardless, it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Canal District is pushing it, but the city just doesn't have the money or the will to do it.
 

FK4

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Believe the plan was to shut down Harding to vehicles completely with that and just install a pool mimicking the canal. Regardless, it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Canal District is pushing it, but the city just doesn't have the money or the will to do it.
I would argue you get a lot more out of the experience (and for a LOT less money) by just closing down Harding to vehicles — without the canal, there would be more room for outdoor eating, etc.

Still, Worcester is a small city which means it's very autocentric... to the point that a lot of those businesses on Harding need the parking spaces for their customers. I'm not sure closing the street down at all would be a good move. The stadium might change all that. That neighborhood (Green Isle, I think it's technically called, but nobody ever said that when I lived there) is my favorite enclave in Worcester; the other two favorite areas were the strip on Highland by the Sole Proprietor and that awesome little corner where Corner Grill and the BBQ place is that all the Albanians go to.

Edit:
Continuing south on Canal Street.
I didn't see you started this thread, Beeline, or all the great pics. Makes me miss Worcester. Next time you're there, definitely get a beer at Dive Bar... and check out any of the establishments owned by Vincent Hemmeter (Ralph's, Nick's or Vincent's - personally, the latter is the best, I think and exactly the kind of place I wish we had more of here). Since I'm nostalgic allow me to threadshit a little with some other recs - Napoli in Shrewsbury - best sandwiches. Corner Grill - very good pizza. Gibson's - ice cream. Dell'Ovo's - Italian, amazing tiny place. Pampas Churrascaria - what the name says.
 
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meddlepal

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Reopening the canal has never made a lot of sense... it's one of those ideas that's kind of a hold over from a different time when Worcester was chasing Providence's success with Waterfire.

I don't think Worcester needs it now and in the time since it was first tossed around Worcester has really managed break out with its own brand.
 

#bancars

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This made me nostalgic for when I lived in Worcester. I was right by Kelley Square at the base of Vernon Hill, and agree that the Canal District is one of the coolest parts of the city. Also agreed about the Highland Strip and Corner Grille -- great pizza!

Of course Shrewsbury Street is typically a draw as well.

I would argue you get a lot more out of the experience (and for a LOT less money) by just closing down Harding to vehicles — without the canal, there would be more room for outdoor eating, etc.

Still, Worcester is a small city which means it's very autocentric... to the point that a lot of those businesses on Harding need the parking spaces for their customers. I'm not sure closing the street down at all would be a good move. The stadium might change all that. That neighborhood (Green Isle, I think it's technically called, but nobody ever said that when I lived there) is my favorite enclave in Worcester; the other two favorite areas were the strip on Highland by the Sole Proprietor and that awesome little corner where Corner Grill and the BBQ place is that all the Albanians go to.

Edit:


I didn't see you started this thread, Beeline, or all the great pics. Makes me miss Worcester. Next time you're there, definitely get a beer at Dive Bar... and check out any of the establishments owned by Vincent Hemmeter (Ralph's, Nick's or Vincent's - personally, the latter is the best, I think and exactly the kind of place I wish we had more of here). Since I'm nostalgic allow me to threadshit a little with some other recs - Napoli in Shrewsbury - best sandwiches. Corner Grill - very good pizza. Gibson's - ice cream. Dell'Ovo's - Italian, amazing tiny place. Pampas Churrascaria - what the name says.
 

WormtownNative

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Crossposted from the Worcester Improvements thread as this is in Canal District:

Walker Shoe factory slated for $7M residential project
By Zachary Comeau

The former Walker, J. H. and G. M. Shoe Factory at 28 Water St. in Worcester has been sold for $660,000 to a Chelsea-based developer, who plans to create 62 studio and one-bedroom apartments in the 150-year-old building.

Anthony Rossi, an attorney and historic reuse developer, said he expects the project to cost between $5 million and $7 million. He plans to name the building the Walker Lofts in an homage to the factory.
Full Article
 

BeeLine

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Some movement on the ballpark.

 

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