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Worcester Ballpark Land Acquisition Moves Forward

Polar Park

Land acquisition for the upcoming Polar Park is moving forward, as the Worcester Redevelopment Authority is allowing the city to acquire necessary parcels. 

Planning continues for Polar Park, an upcoming ballpark in Worcester, MA that is scheduled to open in 2021 for the relocating Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League). The ballpark is expected to anchor a larger redevelopment initiative in the city’s Kelley Square/Canal District area, with surrounding amenities to include an office building, residential units, a hotel, and retail.

On Friday, WRA members helped move the planning process forward by voting to authorize the city to proceed with obtaining the properties needed for Polar Park. More from MassLive:

The process is past deadline. The contract between the city and ballclub called for Worcester to acquire the ballpark parcel by April 1….

The authority approved the purchase of 50 Washington St., a garage warehouse, from Madison Downtown Holdings LLC, the company developing a hotel, retail and residential units alongside the ballpark.

Additionally, the authority approved the adoption of an order of taking to acquire that 50 Washington St. parcel, as well as 127 Washington St., an auto service garage, and 134 Madison St., a retail building.

Officials are planning to begin construction work on Polar Park this summer, and proceed with a targeted 2021 opening. The PawSox will remain at Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium for the 2019 and 2020 seasons until moving to Worcester.

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. Naming rights for the ballpark will come from Worcester’s Polar Beverages.

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