February 27, 2010

Fallon results

Thanks Harry. Here is the link on the Telegram.

Fallon lost money, while Tufts and H/P made money. As I had mentioned when Eric Schultz left for Harvard-Pilgrim, I am concerned about Fallon Community Health Plans. It is not a good sign that Eric left.

In 2008 they had a profit of 6.7 million and now they have a loss 29.4 in 2009. That is a swing of over $35 million dollars. That's alot of money, but it gets worse. Fallon makes alot of money on Medicare Advantage, but Obama wants to get rid of that (except in Florida where he has alot of voters as McCain accurately pointed out the other day).

I don't want another locally owned insurance company bought out. We have seen what the loss of companies like Paul Revere and State Mutual has been to Worcester, not to mention the benefits of a company like Hanover staying in Worcester. Very concerned that Eric may make taking over Fallon as the new President of H-P as one of his top goals.

February 26, 2010

Dr Morgan

I read the story in the newspaper the other day. Am I missing something? What exactly is the story here? Honestly I am not being a wise guy, did I miss something? Was there another story?

My roommate from college is an anesthesiologist. He has been doing it for 20 years and one of the calmest nicest guys you ever meet. One of the things he does tell me, however, is that the stress can really be at time unimaginable. He has told me that, sooner then later, he will just turn in his license and retire. He has a boatload of money saved. Maybe that what he is doing?

Then I read the part about a drunk driving charge? Come on 2003? That was almost 7 years ago? Low blow... Maybe this will become a story, but as far as I can tell the mere fact a doctor turns in his license is not newsworthy.

February 25, 2010


Jahn, MassPort has been our partner. True.. Let me give you an analogy.

  • You own a business that I want that is worth $20 million dollars but you are having financial difficulty.
  • I tell you that I want to buy your company but we can not agree to a price.
  • Also convince you not to talk to anyone else about buying your business and you do not talk to any business brokers to see if anyone may be interested.
  • In order to keep you afloat I will lend you monies to pay the bills that wil be credited to our agreed upon sale price.

Here is the question, why would I possibly want to help your business that will only drive up my purchase price? I would actually rather try to hurt your business thereby lowering the $20 million dollar price. It would cost me more money in the short-term covering your losses, but it all gets credited back at the closing on the reduced sale price..

Eventually your business is only worth $10 million, but since I have given you $6 million to cover you then I only pay you $4. The day I actually own your business is the first day I actually try to make your business successful.

In the above example, you are Worcester and I am Massport.

February 24, 2010

Kudos to Eddy

He seems to have taken over the mantle from Councilor Rosen to be looking out for ORH. Story in Telegram here.

Let me straighten out a couple things. The amount of money MassPort has given us to subsidize the airport will come off the purchase price. For example, if an agreed price was $25 million but MassPort has contributed $13 million the past 10 years, they would only pay $12 million. I think that is absolute BS, but I digress.

Grants have nothing to do with the sale price. They do, however, have to be paid back if we ever had to close the airport. Bottom line these grants do not effect the sale price, but it does box us in even more with MassPort since it increases the cost to close the airport thus our need to sell the airport.

In the end we are not going to get fair market value and there is no excuse why we never conducted an RFP for the entire airport? That said I believe MassPort will crank at ORH once they take over June 1st.

Hanover "May" Take Over at City Square


In the Telegram.

Thanks Paul

February 23, 2010

Dirty Dozen

The Chandler Business Group had a meeting today with various members of the city administration regarding certain problem properties. It went real real well.

The City of Worcester has alot of good people working at the street level. One of my complaints, however, have been the blanket code sweeps. You the code department goes into Main South and writes up a couple hundred code violations. Don't get me wrong the people, who do the sweeps, work hard but what does it really do. The City has limited resources, lets take these same people and effort and focus on the properties that are the habitual offenders.

Every single neighborhood in the City of Worcester has that one property that accounts for 75% percent of the problems. Focusing on those properties is a better example of addressing the "broker window" theory versus writing up a couple hundred code violations. My hope is that today's meeting has laid the groundwork for a "Dirty Dozen" program that will formally public list the 12 worst properties in the City of Worcester, along with the ownership, utlizing statisitics and input from the various neighborhood groups and crime watches. The City then uses the full scope of the nuisance ordinance against these 12 properties.

We will see. By the way I got this idea from a WMRB report that I read years ago citing how this is what they have done in other cities like Toledo.

February 22, 2010

Dangers of Cheerleading

February 20, 2010

CSX Freightyards Expands

Click here for NIck K story. Maybe we should move the DPW yards from this area? hey, South Worcester Industrial Park would be a great spot.

February 19, 2010

Worcester Native Wins Gold

Yep, Frank Carroll--not that Fran Carroll but the Frank Carroll who is my best friend's Uncle. He grew up on Crystal Park and in fact learned to skate her.
That is Frank on the right and a link to a story that gives a little background. Congrats Frank!

Supermarket Update

Shaws sells all their Ct stores. Mass stores next.... Rumor has it Hannaford may be interested in their stores. Also new upscale Wegert Supermarket going in on Route 20 in Northboro acrosss from the Driving Range.

This year s going to be very tough year for the Supermarkets in Worcester. I say at least one, most likely two will close.

February 18, 2010

Task Forces

I was on one for the Pilot Program about 6 years ago. The end result was awesome mainly due to Jim Leary, CEO for Cities and the interns from Holy Cross.

Implemented the recommendations was horrible!!!! We created the Univercity Partnerhsip with Armand Carriere as the Executive Director--what a joke that was. One of our recommendations was to hook-up college interns with groups like the Chandler Business Group. One day I called Armand, explained how I was on the task force and how we could use some interns. He was completely baffled as to why I called him?? No lie, I spoke to him for 10 minutes and he still could not understand what I was asking.

Another recommendation was that we meet two years later so we can actually review our recomendations and determine if any we met. We never met, although I asked more then once. Bottom line, I am confident that this task force will make good recommendations, but not so confident any will implemented.

Mayor Task Force on dual taxe

Womag story

thanks Z

Freight Yards

Story in the Telegram today about how CSX is looking for more Freight yards. In case you did not know P & W moved most of their freight yards off Southbridge Street because of all the flooding. Either they could not get insurance anymore or the cost was prohibitive.

All of the Route 146 construction was suppose to alleviate the flooding in these areas, but it did not. We shold be looking for economic stimulus monies to correct this situation. The properties in these areas should be quite valuable since they now interesect with all the major highways, but if they floor every storm?

February 16, 2010

Rumor Mill

Got to say the rumor mill has been on a roll.

  • Sams Club
  • Hanover involvement with City Square
Next ones I believe is coming is best
  • Best Buy out of Greendale Mall
  • At least one big grocery store closing in Worcester due to Market Basket
Here is where I am a little stuck. On the reliability meter, I give it a 4 out of 10. Heard today that Walmart may be looking to open behind Walgreens?? Need to report it my fellow bloggers though, but I only give this a 4 out of 10. Need more confirmation.

Market Basket

Not only are they still hurting the area grocery stores but it is getting worse. Watch for supermarkets to be closing in Worcester.

Levy Line

Click here and listen to February 16th line.

But we all know where was really first broken.

February 15, 2010

Hanover Chandler Street CDC

After much discussion we are going to change the Chandler Business Group into a CDC. The reasons to do so are plentiful:

  • The City of Worcester will then sell us city owned lots for pennies on the dollar through direct sales (values under 25K). Even if the property goes out to RFP, we will get the bid even if we are not the highest bidder.
  • We can utilize our non-profit status and partner up with for-profit developers since we can get grant monies from the EPA for Brownfields clean-up
  • Any LDA (Land Disposition Agreement) that we sign will not be enforced
  • HUD loans will be given to us guaranteed by the the City who will then make any payments for us that are not waived .
  • Any variance we want will be given, especially those pesky parking requirements
  • Infrastructure repairs that need to be done like sidewalks and grind/overlays will get pushed to the to of the list and paid for by the City of Worcester.
  • Above ground sewer lines through private property will not be questioned
  • Instant respect will be ours
  • Financial reporting requirementst to the City of Worcester will not be neceessary
  • We can land bank properties and abandoned buildings for years

All we need is an Executive Director? Here are my nominees:

  1. Councilor Rosen
  2. Paulie
  3. Brendan Melican
  4. Jahn

Where are we going to get our funding? Other then usual sources, we are going to partner with Hanover. Yes, the Hanover Chandler Street CDC....

Buy Local

I downloaded this off Paul's blog. Picture of a contractor working on the new Worcester Common Ground No income project on Piedmont Street. Bad enough you can not find Worcester contractors, but hey can't we at least keep in the state?
HVAC guy, pictured here, is from Quinebaug, Ct.

Cigarette Business

Read WoMag this week and whole the City Council is making an issue out of SNUS. FYI, this product is such a non-issue. They simply do not sell. What they should watch more then anything are e-cigs, but I digress.

Last week I ran into a friend that I went to high school with that works for one of the major cigarette companies, who told me about the stores on the New Hampshire border selling 5,000 cartons per week. He also commented how baldy the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has killed the cigarette business.

Not only has the Commonwealth taxed cigarettes to the point of pushing people into other states, but there are alot of little things. Remember all the Philip Morris that you would see around (coats, jackets, hats, etc). All of this is illegal in Massachusetts including coupons. Many times I have had people come in with coupons, only to tell them that we can not accept to which the customer says I will just save them for when I go to New Hampshire.

It would be one thing if all 50 states were doing the same thing, but Massachusetts acting alone has hurt many Massachusetts businesses and themselves through lower tax collections.

February 14, 2010

Nick K --Local Investor?

Gee I wonder who that is??

Click here for story

It is Hanover, of course. Sily bloggers!!

February 12, 2010


Which project will get off the ground first?

A) Pharmasphere
B) Mason Street low income project
C) City Builders low income project
D) UNUM lease at City Square

Yep, that's right going on month 25 after the award to Pharmasphere for $1 and they have yet to take title.

February 11, 2010

Hadley Parking Requirements

Just found out- that all onsite parking for Hadley was waived.

Eric Schultz leaves Fallon

This is huge. Going to be President of Harvard-Pilgrim. Not good for Worcester.

Weden Open House

This Sunday noon till 2:00PM.

Click here for more details

Hadley Parking Lot

PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE Definitive Site Plan Caravan Development, LLC has applied for Definitive Site Plan Approval under the requirements of the City of Worcester Zoning Ordinance. The applicant proposes to construct a 51-space temporary surface parking lot until such time that financing for a permanent parking garage can be secured for the adjacent Hadley Apartments as part of the Beacon Place Condominium project on property located at 661 Main Street (PB-2010-004). This area is zoned BG-3.0 (Business, General), Arts Overlay District, and Chandler Street Parking Overlay District. A public meeting will be held on this Definitive Site Plan on February 24, 2010, at 5:30 PM in the Levi Lincoln Chamber 3rd Floor of the City Hall, 455 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. This application may be viewed 8:30am-2:00pm at the Division of Planning and Regulatory Services, 44 Front Street, Suite 510, 5th Floor, Worcester, Massachusetts. Stephen Rolle, Clerk Worcester Planning Board February 10, 2010

February 09, 2010

Mass Housing Partnership

Please check out this link for projects in Central Mass, in particular Worcester. Notice the disproportionate number of projets in Worcester.

Click here

Cigarette Story

Ran into an RJ Reynolds rep today. He told me that the border stores in NH, it is not unusual for them to be selling 5,000 cartons of cigs per week. I can not tell you how many cartons that is. In other words, how many people are going to New Hampshire to buy their cigs is even bigger then I even imagined.

February 08, 2010

Hadley Again

Sorry, I drive by it every day. Ironically from 1982-1986 I worked in the warehouse behind Burwick Furniture for Goodyear Wholesale tire. It got me to thinking. Consider this before the Hadley development, you had three commericially taxed parcels:

  1. Burwick
  2. Caravan
  3. Warehouse

I wonder how much we lost annually in taxes. Jahn, what do you think?

February 07, 2010

Walmart on Route 146

Story in the Telegram today about the new Walmart. Guess what is going next to the Walmart?The Sam's Club on Barber Street will close and move here. Silly bloggers!!

The Best Buy move to Route 146 and Hanover taking a more active role in City Square coming soon, but what do us bloggers know....

February 05, 2010


I drive by this building every day.
  • no movement on the 1st floor commercial space
  • do not see any signs of the market rate condos being built
  • finished parking lot?

February 03, 2010

Boys Club

Glad to see that the City of Worcester after reviewing the two bids recommended Acorn, although I don't see how they could not have when:

  1. Acorn purchase price netted 275k more to the City of Worcester then Winn/WBDC
  2. Acorn's due diligence period was 90 days versus 12 months
  3. Acorn is paying a deposit of 10K, that they will lose to the City of Worcester if they do not close in 90 days. On the other hand, Winn would pay no deposit and the City would have received nothing after their 12 months if they did not close.
  4. Acorn has more units and they are all market rate, no low-mod income

At the same time, this same scenario would have ended up with Winn getting the bid in prior years. What has changed???

I truly believe people are starting to see that all of these low-mod income development projects are big business and alot of people are making alot of money on this except the tax-payers of Worcester. The Chandler Business Group deserves alot of credit for this sea of change.

Lets hope this ship continues to keep turning.

Inquiring minds

Excavating crews working at the site of the old gun range on Chandler, behind the Walgreens. Anyone know what is going on.

Maybe Winn wants to build a low-mod housing development??

February 02, 2010

City Council Vote on Boys Club

Although the City Administration has recommnded Acorn as the developer, the Council still needs to vote on it. It will be interesting to see how that vote goes.

CK Smith

This was the major locally owned oil company that was discussed a couple weeks ago on this blog. Click here for the story in today's Telegram. Currently closely all the retail stores, but i have heard that they have a buyer lined up for the Oil delivery business. If you have oil delivered to your house by them, you should be all set.

Yes, T-Traveler it was here that we discussed the possibility of Sam's moving to the new Wal-Mart.

Here is another for you. The Market Basket is already hurting grocery stores in Worcester. Imagine what the new Walmart will do? Please note the opening of the new Walmart has been delayed at least 90 days for major mistakes made with the roof assembly. By the end of the year I expect the Shaws on Grafton Street not to be the only large grocery store shuttered in the City of Worcester.

February 01, 2010

Weden Lane update

Fell a little behind schedule but on the fast track right now. Granite counters and cabinets are in. Beneath that paper on the floor are beautiful hardwoods. Off Greenwood minutes to Millbury Mass Pike exit, asking 249,900-- (brokers protected -3%).


Zimage forwarded me the last link. Thanks Dave..

But Dave you now owe me two beers since it is February 1st. New bet. I bet you double or nothing we will something first about Hanover coming in as the lender or developer before we get anything signed by UNUM. Do you take the bet?

Acorn get bid!!!

I actually thought he City Council decided this?? I think they still do?? Can anyone help me here. It looks like, however, that the City of Worcester Economic Department is recommended them. Story by Nick K, click here.

Here are some other reasons new reasons why Acorn should get the nod:
  • 10,000 of a 25,000 is nonrefundable. Winn's deposit was nothing.
  • 90 day diligence period. Winn's was 12 month.

So let me get this right. Winn wanted to be awarded the bid, put nothing down as a deposit and tie up the property for 12 months? Why not Pharmasphere has done the same thing now going on over 2 years!!!

Lets keep it positive. This is some great news!!!