Worcester Developments

meddlepal

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Yea there isn't much of a reason to be in downtown Worcester after 8pm or on the weekend. More housing down there will help in time, but it's a slow process. It's still significantly more active than it was a decade ago and even more so compared to the 90s.
 

Massachoicetts

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It's going to be significantly better once they plop up the Baseball stadium complex. Once that is there, the options are endless as the downtown's vibrancy will explode.
 

Chris

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Worcester is making great strides to make downtown Main St aesthetically pleasing, and they are, but it is a pedestrian wasteland and it probably will always be that way. There are no attractions on Main St with the exception of Hanover theater, which in itself, is an architectural gem. There is a complete void of shopping. There are no restaurants until you venture down Front St or Franklin St. The City Square Development, which is off Main St has improved the area, but that's a block or two away. Main St will never be a destination, it's an avenue to get elsewhere. Now, the transformation of the canal district is a new and very bright chapter for Worcester, reserved in a different thread.
Specifically regarding North Main Street, it's a dead zone because it is essentially dead-ended by the tunnel/intersection at Lincoln Square in favor of Major Taylor Boulevard. A lot of Downtown's problems are legacy traffic management/car heavy roads from the 60s/70s. Personally I think reconnecting Main to Lincoln (and downgrading Taylor) would do a lot for reinvigorating North Main Street.
 

#bancars

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Wow, putting a plaza in front of the Hanover is a really interesting idea. I like that it will eliminate a cut-through for cars.

Other than that, hopefully they can get some good activation before events at Hanover. Otherwise, I'm not sure what the primary use of that space would be. Maybe office workers eating lunch?

Quick update on the Main Street Reimagined project. Sidewalks are mostly done, car lane reconfiguration and bike lanes will have to wait till spring.
It’s hard to avoid construction downtown and in the adjacent Canal district.

View attachment 1320View attachment 1321
 

#bancars

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Worcester is making great strides to make downtown Main St aesthetically pleasing, and they are, but it is a pedestrian wasteland and it probably will always be that way. There are no attractions on Main St with the exception of Hanover theater, which in itself, is an architectural gem. There is a complete void of shopping. There are no restaurants until you venture down Front St or Franklin St. The City Square Development, which is off Main St has improved the area, but that's a block or two away. Main St will never be a destination, it's an avenue to get elsewhere. Now, the transformation of the canal district is a new and very bright chapter for Worcester, reserved in a different thread.
Agreed -- on Main itself downtown, the only two restaurants that are "destinations" of sorts in my mind are Armsby Abbey and Spoodles, the latter of which is really only a weekday lunch place (albeit with really excellent sandwiches). That said, it's been a few years since I lived there.
 

BarbaricManchurian

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This area could be a great urban node if they totally replaced all the people lol. Right now it's very sketchy and forlorn with almost no pedestrian traffic except for the occasional druggie and/or prostitute. The buildings are architecturally pretty good but largely underutilized. The Grid District is a nice start but hasn't changed the vibe of the area too much yet. Just a cold, windswept ghost (down)town. Worcester does serve an important purpose as a large area of affordable housing, but there are no higher-end urban neighborhoods yet in the city. All the densest neighborhoods are generally the poorest, and I don't think generically nice suburban neighborhoods in Central Mass excite us very much lol.
 

cubalibre

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Agreed -- on Main itself downtown, the only two restaurants that are "destinations" of sorts in my mind are Armsby Abbey and Spoodles, the latter of which is really only a weekday lunch place (albeit with really excellent sandwiches). That said, it's been a few years since I lived there.
I don’t know if Spoodles exists anymore. There is deadhorse hill on Main Street which garnered some attention. I have not been so I cannot comment on how good the food is.

There is not really a problem with “druggies and/or prostitute(s)” on this part on Main Street, that happens more further down on Main South. It’s not dangerous or dirty, it’s just deserted. Change will be gradual.
 
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BarbaricManchurian

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I guess I was talking more about Main Middle, especially the corner of Main and Chandler (which some can consider to be part of downtown). No one's going to harm you if you're just walking by so no need to fear anything, true, but I lived in the area and it is an accurate statement that there is very little pedestrian traffic except for general "vagrants" especially by the liquor store. This vibe doesn't change much going up Main Street into downtown; it's continually deserted except for the aforementioned vagrants, elderly bus riders, skateboarders, and maybe the very occasional office worker or student during business hours. Obviously this repaving/reconfiguration is a good sign but we'll see if it really makes a difference in the long run. The post-apocalyptic vibe was totally accentuated by the previously abysmal road/sidewalk quality (when I lived in 2016-2018) so maybe it feels different now.
 

SlothofDespond

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Spoodles is just a sub shop. It's fine for lunch but it's every sub shop everywhere. Not great, not bad, it's just fine. Was it something different years ago?

Armsby Abbey is a legitimate destination. It punches in at a "regionally notable" level in terms of beer selection/rotation.

Deadhorse Hill is well-regarded but pretentious. The last time I went there I ate some under-cooked pork. Bad times. I haven't decided if I'm going to give it another chance but the menu was certainly a notch above most places in Worcester.
 

#bancars

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Spoodles is just a sub shop. It's fine for lunch but it's every sub shop everywhere. Not great, not bad, it's just fine. Was it something different years ago?

Armsby Abbey is a legitimate destination. It punches in at a "regionally notable" level in terms of beer selection/rotation.

Deadhorse Hill is well-regarded but pretentious. The last time I went there I ate some under-cooked pork. Bad times. I haven't decided if I'm going to give it another chance but the menu was certainly a notch above most places in Worcester.
I dunno, I worked downtown and went to Spoodles a lot, and thought their subs were really good! Don't know if mgmt changed -- I was there 2014/15.
 

cubalibre

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This looks great and will complement the Ruth’s Chris steak house that is supposed to be opening across the street nicely.
This was the view of that corner last year, took a bit longer than expected to get a tenant in there but looks promising.

388DAD00-0408-447F-A898-761F20D9A7AB.jpeg
 

WormtownNative

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Greendale Mall has been sold and will be redeveloped to mixed use. Couple articles quoted from the Worcester Business Journal.



Finard Properties, who specializes in retail, office, and hotels, said in an announcement Monday the mall’s location at the junction of Interstates 290 and 190 near downtown, makes the property a prime candidate for redevelopment.

Built in 1987, Greendale was once a popular spot for shoppers with nearly four dozen retailers anchored by Best Buy. But changes in consumer behavior, and newer, open-air malls like Lakeway Commons in Shrewsbury, have rendered the property with multiple store vacancies and a facility in need of much repair.

Today, the Greendale Mall website lists 15 stores operating at the 309,000-square-foot property, anchored by TJ Maxx, Greendale Furniture, DSW, and Reliant Medical Group. The City of Worcester has assessed the property at $11.4 million.

In the announcement Monday, Finard said it will create a mixed-use destination on the 22-acre site. Finard Properties has partnered with Prellwitz Chilinski Associates, a Cambridge architect and design team, and Bohler Engineering of Southborough on the project.
https://www.wbjournal.com/article/greendale-mall-sold-to-boston-developer-for-71m

Greendale Mall to be demolished, turned into apartments & medical offices

By Thomas Grillo

One day after a Boston developer bought the rundown Greendale Mall in Worcester, the new owner plans to replace the 32-year-old shopping center with a mix of retail, apartments, and office space.

“It’s rare to get your hands on 23 acres in such a perfect location,” Todd Finard, CEO of Finard Properties, told the WBJ. “Worcester is a very exciting place to be, it has lots of energy, and we want to be part of its phenomenal growth.”

On Monday, Finard bought the 309,000-square-foot mall for $7.1 million.

Under a proposal expected to emerge over the next year, Finard said the mall would be demolished to make way for apartment buildings, medical offices, and retail.

But don’t expect a covered mall. The era of enclosed shopping centers has passed, Finard said. The public has embraced places like Northborough Crossing and MarketStreet in Lynnfield with apartments, a health clinic, medical offices, and retail.

The zoning around the Greendale Mall at the junction of Interstates 290 and 190 near downtown allows for buildings up to 100 feet, or six or seven stories.
https://www.wbjournal.com/article/g...lished-turned-into-apartments-medical-offices
 
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Arenacale

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I would occasionally go over to Greendale in college since it was so close to WPI. It seemed like an odd location for a mall back then, hemmed in by the highway and yet somehow difficult to both get into and out of. I liked it regardless, it was dated to the late-80s in all my favorite ways, a sort of Arsenal Mall Lite. I have trouble seeing a Northborough Crossing type center being a true success there, at least from a retail standpoint, but with the nearby shuttered Sam's Club maybe anchoring it with a BJs or Costco could help spur visitors.
 

cubalibre

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Access is pretty easy coming from south going to I-190 N, but when coming from the north you’ll have to loop around W. Boylston street to Gold Star Blvd. There’s room for improvement.
A mix of retail, residential, office/medical may be what will work here.

Other retail properties Finard owns are in varying quality:
 
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WormtownNative

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In other news, legal work progresses on the Aud.

Following months of negotiations, the Architectural Heritage Foundation and the City of Worcester have executed a Land Disposition Agreement (LDA) for the Worcester Memorial Auditorium. Entering into this cooperative site control arrangement marks the completion of the first stage of last June's purchase agreement between AHF and the City. The LDA will allow AHF to advance the project to the predevelopment phase, which will entail designing modest and historically appropriate interventions to make the building handicapped accessible by contemporary standards. Our immediate next steps are to enter into consultation with Worcester's historical community, the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and the National Park Service. We are grateful to the City of Worcester for its support and look forward to continuing to work together to preserve and revitalize the Aud for communities in the city and beyond.
Source
 

WormtownNative

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Access is pretty easy coming from south going to I-190 N, but when coming from the north you’ll have to loop around W. Boylston street to Gold Star Blvd. There’s room for improvement.
A mix of retail, residential, office/medical may be what will work here.

Other retail properties Finard owns are in varying quality:
That whole area is very car centric though, with that stretch of West Boylston Street and the end of Gold Star Blvd being more like highway ramps than local roads. It needs better walking and biking connections that don't feel like you're crossing an interstate.

The existing office building that isn't being touched has already been redeveloped into space for Reliant Medical.

Additionally, (albeit as T&G Facebook comments) people would like to see the RMV move up to the property, and the RMV has expressed a desire to vacate their property downtown.
 
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HarvardP

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That whole area is very car centric though, with that stretch of West Boylston Street and the end of Gold Star Blvd being more like highway ramps than local roads. It needs better walking and biking connections that don't feel like you're crossing an interstate.

The existing office building that isn't being touched has already been redeveloped into space for Reliant Medical.

Additionally, (albeit as T&G Facebook comments) people would like to see the RMV move up to the property, and the RMV has expressed a desire to vacate their property downtown.
If the RMV does vacate, the current location should be demo'd and cleansed by any and every priest/rabbi/imam/shaman available. That place is an effing hellgate.
 

citydweller

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Greendale Mall has been sold and will be redeveloped to mixed use. Couple articles quoted from the Worcester Business Journal.





https://www.wbjournal.com/article/greendale-mall-sold-to-boston-developer-for-71m



https://www.wbjournal.com/article/g...lished-turned-into-apartments-medical-offices
This is great news! I wasn't optimistic that anything would happen here for many years but seeing that we now have a regional owner with a pragmatic vision will be another win for Worcester.
 

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