A change is taking shape in the proposed development surrounding a future Worcester, MA ballpark, as an office building will be built on a site previously slated for a hotel.
Currently being planned for a 2021 opening, Worcester’s new ballpark–dubbed Polar Park–will serve as the new home of the relocating Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League). Polar Park is envisioned as the anchor of a larger redevelopment initiative in the city’s Kelley Square/Canal District area, and planning for the amenities that will surround the ballpark is now taking shape.
One tweak to the development was revealed this week, as an office building with a top-floor deck is now slated for a site that was previously envisioned as the location of a new hotel. Plans are still being made for a separate 250-room hotel within the development, but project officials believe that the office building will serve as a key component in the overall vision for the area. More from the Worcester Telegram:
But new information also emerged Tuesday about one key Worcester development project. Madison Properties of Boston, which is proposing to redevelop more than 15 acres of former Wyman-Gordon Co. industrial land in Worcester’s Canal District as part of a new baseball park, now plans an office building with a top-floor deck rather than a hotel next to the ballpark’s left field wall.
“We think this is going to be one of the coolest office buildings in Worcester, just in terms of employee retention and being in the middle of this district with all this excitement happening,” said Denis Dowdle, president of Madison Properties of Boston.
Mr. Dowdle said Madison Properties now plans one 250-room hotel in the development, rather than two. A building with 225 apartments is planned next to the hotel, and construction on the office, hotel and apartments will begin in the next 12 months.
Polar Park is expected to cost $86-$90 million, and is envisioned as the anchor of an 18-acre, $240-million redevelopment initiative. The funding formula for the ballpark calls for the City of Worcester to borrow $100.8 million ($70.6 million in general obligations bonds, $30.2 in bonds backed by team rent payments) to cover construction costs and PawSox owners paying $6 million toward construction. Rent payments are pegged at a little over a million dollars annually, for a total of $30.2 million over 30 years. Construction is slated to begin this summer and lead to a 2021 opening, while the PawSox will spend the 2019 and 2020 seasons at Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium.
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