January 30, 2012

Tale of two companies

One company, let's call it the Telegram owned by a company outside of Worcester, owned in an older building downtown that they owe absolutley nothing on since there was alot of empty space.   They sell the building to the WBDC, but rent some space  downtown to keep the newspaper going.  Prinitng operation also have moved out of Millbury.  We all agree that the future of the Telegram does not look good in Worcester.

Another company, let's call it UNUM, also has an older building that they owe absolutely nothing and I don't believe they either use their space to the optimum. They also are moving to some office space downtown,  have moved some operations to other places , but have not sold their building yet...  

Can someone, (Dave Z) explain the difference between UNUM and the Telegram other then one has sold their buiding and the other has not.


Steve Foley said...

Bill, I think the difference is in your statement "We all agree that the future of the Telegram does not look good in Worcester".

The Telegram is in a declining business and gasping for its last breath.

UNUM is not in a declining business and is far from gasping its last.

David Z. said...

It's actually quite simple. One (T&G) is a dying industry at least the print edition and the other (UNUM) is in the insurance industry which I don't think anyone can say is a dying industry.

BTW, according to CM O'Brien last week on the Jordan Levy show, he said that several developers are looking at the UNUM property. And you're right about the buildings being underutilized. That was one of the main reasons they wanted new space so they could consolidate. And that is the same reason that the T&G is moving to rented space at the Berkley Investment Office tower (not sure what they call it nowadays) at CitySquare.

Jahn said...

Bill, to my way of thinking if UNUM wanted out, why not just go now? Why would they stick around for another 15 years and gradually scale back Worc operations? Everyone knows it is less expensive to do business in oterh states (and countries, a al customer service call centers) than it is McGovern-chusetts. Businesses generally cut and run to new locales, they dont slowly downsize and then move away, esp. when there is nothing to keep them at a particular locale. They may gradually exit a certain business line/product but when talking about entire relocations, isnt it more often..."OK we're outtta here yesterday" ... esp. with co's selling an intangilbe like ins. vs. say a co. like St Gobain with huge investments in fixed equipment that are not financially feasible to relocate.

Steve I agree re T&G and its industry. Dittos for UNUM.

I wonder, did T&G have already have teh fix in place when they decided to move across the marijuana scented Common and Non Ice Skating Rink?

"THE FIX": We T&G will move to CS (area?) if you (WBDC) pony up for our 21E site on Portland St & Federal St. How aptly named federal St is, b/c "free" fed money will pay for the clean up. File under "Dirty Deals?

AND IS IT JUST ME, or is anyone else getting fed up w/the word TRANSPARENCY of late. The minute someone tells me "transaprency this...transparency that...full transparency" ......I have learned to immediately put on my transparency radar device, my BS Sniffer, and my hip boots.

Sew.... speeking of phull transparency....I'd be curious to know how many brides have shown up at CS and left the groom after 1 or 2 or 3 dates? And WHY they opted out? Kinda like a the city checkbook transparency that's online or in this case the city checkout book.

Jahn said...

by Jahn Dickens

First, there's the CS with a 1,000 space underground parking garage. The there's the CS with one 500 space above ground parking garage and another parking garage (500 spaces?) to be incorporated into as yet unknown structure, also to built at CS...rumored to be Hotel?

Second there's the pictures and renderings of the CS circa 2006 with vendor pushcarts and no hobos in the background. Then there's the overrreaching city regulation(s) that effectively bans vendor push carts and there is reality of what the Common backdrop to CS really looks like during the day.

Third there is the CS touted in 2005-2006 with a planned 1,600 units of upscale condos, allegedly required to make CS a viable, 18 hour downtown residentail mileau. Then there's the reality of the middle market condo market everywhere (110% in the tank), the reality of the upscale condo market in Worc (non existent), and the reality of the residential housing that is being built in the immediate CS area (allegedly mid market[and below?] RENTALS).

Fourth there is originally planned increase (13 add'l trips?) in commuter rail service to Worc, allegedly to get foot traffic into CS and also to get a reverse commute coming into CS to work at the as yet non existent and not even planned, additional, newly created office space.

Fifth, there's the small issue of the MBTA GM telling us he's got debt and that he supposedly did not know existed (HUH? The Donald says you're fired) and it is looking like this new(?) revelation will result in cutbacks to not only existing rail service, but also to planned increases (if any?) in Worc Commuter rail service. Then add in that any Worc to Cambridge Commuter rail service plan is DOA in the Peoples Republic of Cambridge because reopening currently unused/underused grade crossings will adversely affect bicycle, Prius, and Volt traffic in Cambridge. Not exactly a shocking revelation out of Cambridge.

Sixth, is there now an issue with the new created railroad infrastructure being unable to accomodate even the decrease in the number of originally planned (13?) NEW commuter rail trips into Worc?

Did Worc get sold a bill of goods by the MBTA, by the RR, and by then Mayor Murray just to get CS off the ground?

Jahn said...

I am going mostly from long term memory and what I have read recently in T&G. Please add any corrections or additional data. Maybe I forgot some of the other changes to CS.

I do realize we have a huge construction undertaking going on in the middle of a depression. I also realize that all construction projects have change orders.


Anonymous said...

Why is Unum leaving its current site? Our existing offices in Worcester date back nearly 90 years. Although they have been expanded and updated several times to accommodate growth, the inflexible layouts and high operating costs led us to the conclusion that we needed to consider alternative long-term alternatives. The new location will provide more efficient, consolidated space and lower operational costs. The new Unum building will be LEED certifiable.

Why was the CitySquare location chosen? Our first goal was to bring our work environment in line with the first-class facilities enjoyed at our home offices in Chattanooga and Portland. We also took into consideration employees’ commuting time, access to public transportation, attractive and educate workforce and our long-standing commitment to the city. We believe that with City Square we have accomplished those goals. At the same time we recognize the impact to downtown Worcester of a development like this, and are proud to play a key role in the transformation of downtown.