The conversion of the former Washington Square rotary into a smaller roundabout has dramatically transformed the area around Union Station by creating four parcels that are significant transit-oriented development opportunities. Washington Square is also home to Union Station and the WRTA Hub. A historic crossroads for the City of Worcester, Washington Square connects Worcester's downtown, Shrewsbury Street, Canal District and Grafton Hill neighborhoods. The roundabout also functions as a gateway to some of the City's most important developments including CitySquare, the Worcester Trial Court, Saint Vincent Hospital, DCU Arena and Convention Center and the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Recognizing the higher values and development interest to be generated by this investment, the City of Worcester developed the Washington Square Redevelopment Strategy that both assessed and affirmed the significant development potential of the four new parcels. The report, which was adopted by the Worcester City Council, focuses on achieving the highest and best use of the new parcels with high density, multi-level, mixed-use development. The City has been working in collaboration with the Worcester Redevelopment Authority to foster this transit-oriented development in a way that is complementary to other major projects in the area.
First Bristol Corporation, through Washington Square Hotel, LLC, intends to construct a new hotel on the remaining development site at Washington Square. The hotel will have approximately 96 rooms at an estimated investment of approximately $22 million. The purchase price to be received by the WRA is $400,000 with $100,000 of the proceeds going to the Worcester Jobs Fund. Due to the effects of the pandemic, the project is delayed from its original schedule and is estimated to begin in 2023.