LETTER FROM THE CHAIR AND PRESIDENT
In 2011, the WBDC continued its tradition of taking on challenging projects. With the purchase of the Worcester Telegram and Gazette Building, we launched our downtown “Theatre District” initiative. The WBDC will make a significant investment in the building and the parking lot, repositioning them for academic and business uses, reenergizing Franklin and Federal Streets.
Partnering with the City of Worcester, we are preparing a master plan and market study for the roughly 30 acres surrounding the Hanover Theatre and abutting CitySquare II. The master plan will be a blueprint for the district and will complement the ongoing efforts of the other stakeholders already working in the area.
Our support organization, New Garden Park, Inc. continues to pursue housing at the “Old Voke School.” With funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, MassDevelopment, the City of Worcester, and the WBDC, we have completed remediation of the site. We are well on the way to an agreement between the WBDC, the City, and WinnDevelopment, which will lead to the construction of 84 units of “55 and over” housing at Gateway Park.
True to our roots, the WBDC remains active in technology park development. We continue as a consultant for WPI at Gateway Park and for the Town of Shrewsbury at CenTech Park North. In partnership with the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the WBDC acquired the last 35 acres at the Massachusetts Biotechnology Research Park on Plantation Street. The Medical School is constructing a parking garage to support the Albert Sherman Research Center and the WBDC has completed design of Biotech VI, which will eventually be built adjacent to the garage. We have also retained rights to a second parcel as part of our goal of completing the work begun by our WBDC predecessors in 1985.
The WBDC continues to do brownfields remediation and development. New Garden Park, Inc. completed the clean-up of the former Nissen Bakery Building located at 75 Quinsigamond Avenue, preparing the site for development at one of Worcester’s “gateway” entry points.
In Berlin, MA, we are assisting with Riverbridge, a 470,000 square foot mixed use development, and in the Town of Sutton we helped the Millbury Federal Credit Union complete infrastructure work at the South Sutton Commerce Park.
Finally, with our SBA partner, New England Certified Development Corporation, we had one of our most successful years, approving 7 SBA 504 loans, creating approximately 150 jobs.
Thanks are due to an outstanding Board of Directors, a great staff and our valued partners. More than ever we believe “the Answer is Downtown” and we are committed to making a difference for the City of Worcester and the region.
J. Robert Seder
David P. Forsberg