The City of Worcester is on the rise, and has an increased need for more housing options for residents and visitors. The city is seeing close to 1,000 new housing units being constructed between proposed projects such as the Madison Properties developments, Boston Capital's Table Talk Lofts, Wood Partner's Alta Seven Hills and Churchill James' The Cove. Worcester has made great strides to close the housing gap with both affordable and market-rate apartments.
Botany Bay Construction Co., Inc., or its nominee (175 James Street LLC), was designated preferred developer for the property at 261 Clover Street, formerly the home of the Creative Paper and Packaging Company. The 5+ acre property will be redeveloped into approximately 90 units of market-rate, townhouse style housing. Botany Bay Construction has developed similar projects in the city. Due to the pandemic in March 2020, construction has halted. The project is under construction again and is expected to open in phases, with the first phase in 2022. The remediation of the site was also supported by the City's Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund.
SilverBrick Group is proceeding with their plans to convert the Commerce Building to 312 units of market-rate housing. They expect to start interior demolition work before the end of 2022 and the project is expected to take 2 years. The total investment is approximately $55 million. The project will create new housing production in the downtown, add feet on the street and new vitality to the building and improve the stewardship and preservation of this important historic asset for years to come.
The relocation of Table Talk Pies to 58 Gardner Street from their former site adjacent to the ballpark opened up a unique opportunity for redevelopment. The City has been working with Boston Capital to come up with a mixed-use and mixed-income residential development plan for the space, beginning with 83-units of affordable housing in the first phase. They are expected to get started in 2022. Future phases call for another 300+ units of housing and over 20,000 square feet of retail space.
Boston Capital is also re-instituting a former public street known as Spruce Street, which bisects the site from Green Street to Washington Street. The Special Projects Division has successfully secured a $1.25 million MassWorks grant to help support the cost of re-creating that public street. Spruce Street will enhance the pedestrian connectivity in the Canal District.
In 2019 Madison Properties purchased parcels of land on the former Wyman-Gordon lot, next to Polar Park. The planned development program includes a residential building with approximately 228 units, a hotel and a 200,000 square foot laboratory and office building. Madison Properties broke ground on the first market-rate residential building in summer 2021, known as South of Madison Apartments (SOMA). The residential building is an estimated $89 million investment and will include retail space and parking as well as a number of amenities for residents. The project is expected to be complete in 2023.
The proposed redevelopment of the Mount Carmel site will create 371 new units of market-rate housing and a structured parking facility. The developer, Wood Partners, has been working with the neighborhood on a community room dedicated to Mount Carmel as well as a memorial on the project's proposed greenspace. In addition they have made a voluntary financial commitment of $150,000 to support a new location for the Joe DiMaggio Little League. They hope to break ground this spring 2022.
The Cove is a 173-unit market-rate mixed-use construction project with commercial retail on the first-floor. The project is currently estimated at over $70 million and is expected to commence in 2022. The Cove project is situated on the full block between Plymouth and Gold Streets, and involved the assembly of multiple parcels. A significant milestone for the project and for the Worcester Redevelopment Authority was the sale of the WRA properties at 85 Green Street, 2 Plymouth Street, 5 Gold Street, 7 Gold Street and 8 Gold Street in December for $3.15 million. This project is also located in the District Improvement Financing area and the proceeds from the sale of the land has created an initial reserve for the DIF.