August 28, 2011


Add the Telegram Building to their list of properties which already includes Gateway Park, the old Trade School and the old Nissen Baking buildings on South Quinsigamond Ave.   

You got to love the financing:
  • City seeking $2,000,000 brownfields grant
  • City seeking $2,500,000 HUD loan guaranteed by the City
  • City Seeking $2,500,000 grant from the Department of Commerce
  • City seeking $200,000 from the EPA


Jahn said...

I do think its good the city gets control of that site. They should just sit on it for now then peddle it to a private landlord for re-hab

What does bother me tho is we've got more gubmint $$$$ competing agaisnt private interests downtown.

Whose to say that another large employer downtown will not move to the T&G building once its tenant ready....and in the wake of teh move leaves another private Landlord sucking pond water whilst the city uses the private landlords money to compete agianst's almost like teh CDC'ing of commercial real estate, however CDC's for the most part are engaged in residentil real estate (except WGC) leaving 3 decker landlords to compete against $513,000 gubmint subsidized apts at Main & Madison.

The paragreaph that jumped out the most at me was toward the end of article and I paraphrase and or quote.........."Once the renovation is complete no one knows who will occupy the building"............WOW.....this concerns me...however i gotta believe our urban planners know enuff to steer clear of low income apts with granite counter tops, 2.5baths, and nice views of the Common skating rink :)

Bill Randell said...

Jahn exactly...

Following up on you and Paul's comments yesterday. The City should spend more monies on neighbors like the Village of Piedmont which will atrract investments.

Instead we alwasy focus on "key" parcels and think investements will follow. Although i am not as old as you Jahn, this has to be the 1oth "Key" parcelI have seen targeted without any corresponding ancillary investments.


Jahn said...

I am afraid to think what will happen if we get a lot of housing built in the City Sq area and market isnt there to carry it.

The old Bancroft that 100% housing or housing and commercial mix?

And as I said before the housing has to be condos ...owner occupied condos.....not apts A few years ago i tried to help out a passing acquaintance select areas of Worc to look for a home. I always told him that if you buy in an area mixed with rental and owner occupied housing...........that you never know years from now what that neighborhood will look like as concerns the rental units.

I see areas like Grafton Hill/ Hamilton St that have really slid downhill the last 10 years or so as certain older, established ethnicities & cultures die off and other demographics & cultures move in and take their place. The only think pretty about it is how many unnatural color schemes can be seen on the newbies skin. Kinda gives new meaning to the term Rainbow Coalition Tatt's city :)

Jahn said...

Y'all see Holy Cross's back asswards logic re how to solve rowdy drinking problems on college hill....which bass ackwards logic is not unlike Worc's logic that new buildings, edifices, and structures will somehow change the people dynamic.

Innstead of new buildings to solve HC's problems they raze older buildings. So the Rugby team moves from Caro St drinking flop house to where??........another house the next block up?

God they shoulda just kept the old HoJo's Hotel in place vs razing it 15 yrs ago. Woulda been a great way to keep all the College aged drinking corraled on one site/area.

If'n ya cant stop a problem at least keep it contained....right? Plus look at all the toilets in that old Hotel that we all know beer drinker need ready access to..........sometimes immedaite acccess to if we're talking tossin' ones cookies :)

soooooooooooo lets ee how thsi fall semester turns out up on college hill..........we all know there is no way to stop college kids from drinking.........

Lets have a pool..........everyone pick a friday or saturday date that they think the 1st HC autunm drinking problem will arise ...........who ever is closest to correct date wins......$20 per pick...if no HC drinking problems arise we'll give the money to Beach Hill de-tox center up in Cow Hampshire.

Paulie's Point of View said...

so what changes the people dynamic senor pedro jahn.....what wil do it? Yah you can keep bangin' everyone who makes an attempt to create change its yer right I guess but what is the silver bullet that just makes it happen or is worcester just dead in the water....I really wanna hear some solid ideas....this stuff interests me-I got a few quid and hours invested so its a real question....come to the table with some ideas or this blog is just an extention of the others that are.always knocking what others do or are always suggesting what others do but actually offer nothing....being here since George Washington aint enuf

Bill Randell said...


I think what changes the dynamic are what has been happening on Chandler Street.

A grassroots uplifting of a neighborhood will change the dynamic.

This emphasis on "key" properties has never ever worked.


Bill Randell said...

Big projects in my lifetime that I can recall we suppose to make a big difference

Union Station
Medical City
Convention Center
terminal at airport

To name only a few

Jahn said...

Senor Pualie, as far as a plan, the 1st things Worc has to do is deal with low income housing constr.....that's the silver bullet... a positive demographics change will bring businesses and middle class to Worc w/o gubmint subsidies.

a. 100% defund any city involvement with low income housing.. i.e. zero city money or subsidies or sewer lines for low income housing

b. No more free/discounted permits for low income housing.

c. No more low income housing variances ( BTW 99.99% of variances that are granted are illegal anyway)

d. Tell McGovern TY, but no Thanx to Washington $$$.

e. No More City Home Funds Loans.

f. Abolish EONS involvement w/Low Income housing. Maybe abolish EONS?

g. Any empty lots the city owns will be grassed over, fenced in, and not sold for housing...starting with Crompton KNowles site or is it too late there?

h. If we cant elimnate CDC's consloidate all city non profit, low income housing entities into one non profit.

Thats my starting point. All this hoopla over new constr just doesnt cut it with me.

Y'all have seen my list of projects that were suppposed to change Worc and didnt and Might I add to the list, Massports takeover of the airport as another strategy to change Worc that has failed. I loook at it as just another failed bailout.

I hate to think it or even say it ,but the changing dynamic on Chanlder St results in an upgraded 150 ft wide corridor right through the middle of a Ghetto. A classic rose covered pathway amongst thorns. Try to get a middle class family to rent an apt in that area. IMPOSSIBLE. Not knocking anyone here, but tellin' ya reality.

And if Mason St NOLO apts become a reality and if WGC gets their hands on MLK site...........well you know what that means :(

Thats a reality that just happens to be negative.

BTW does anyway see all thsi North Main St building activity actulyy moving Worc's downtown focal point northward, away from City Hall and South Main.....which altho not the intent, may not be a bad thing except it's taking gubmint $$$ to accomplish it...which money is at least partially a reverse Pilot Payment to WPI

Jahn said...

Christ almighty Randell doesnt even know his own age....

Also during your tenure on this planet earth the following occured in DT Worc. that were supposed move DT forward:

Worc Center

Two diff. Worc Common rebuilds

1 or 2 Lincoln Sq makeovers

Common Fashion Outlets makeover

RTE 146/Pike connector

New courthouse

Worc Center Blvd constr.

I am sure that like you, my Alzheimers has caused me to forget a few, too :)

Paulie's Point of View said...

I agree on what is happening on chandler...and also taking place in the canal district....but what we are doing Bill includes cleaning up the say that it is the people.not the surroundings is to fooken is all owners accountable, propertt rehab and

if I work...have something offer...i want good space...we have very little good space....i want space to eat and to to play-if not available I will go elsewhere.....hate to quote wee will wooo woooo but he is right...."Worcester is an ugly city"

Paulie's Point of View said...

it is certainly better looking as a redone union station than the one I remember in the late 80's which only had rats and pigeons as.tenants

David Z. said...

My wife and I drove down Portland Street the other night around 10 and the street was packed with cars. In fact, it appeared as though someone was moving in, in advance of Hurricane Irene. I think the Mayo Group project is really taking root and with the redevelopment of the very under utilized T&G building, this is the very thing that Worcester has long hoped for in the downtown business core.

Jahn, the Mayo Group buildings will all be mixed use as will the T&G building. In fact, if you read the article in Sunday's paper they had a tentative agreement with Quinsigamond Community College to lease space on the Federal Street side of the building. Although it fell through QCC is still planning on expanding DT.

Bill, you bring up the financing but these type of deals happen all over the country. Pittsburgh, which has reinvented themselves into a dynamic and thriving urban core does project financing like this to bring more investment into the city.

I love what is being done on Chandler Street but I also see many positive signs that Downtown Worcester is finally connecting the dots into what will be a very dynamic urban core.

Bill Randell said...


Cleaning up the properties , I agree. That is part of the whole concept of the NRSA. Whether it was providing cash to do work on the house itself, facades on surrounding businesses or the hiring of the summer work crew.

No doubt the new Union Station looks better then the old, but it has not ever had the spin off that we expected.

All I am trying to say is we should keep investing in the neighborhoods at the grassroots through programs like the NRSA and Main Streets. We would get a better return on our monies.


Paulie's Point of View said...

if fidelity or state street were looking for office space now we would most likely not have...we do not have enough quality urban housing...worcester has never been ready for the next big real estate boom....i think we are in better shape now for the next one whenever it comes....the demographics we are talking about does not fall out of the took leave and it will take even longer to lure being the number 1 lure.....senor pedro jahn speaks often of the lateral moves of business that will be occupying city square....keeping current business is as important as luring and creating nuevo ones....many pieces.make up the discount the rejuvenation of existing properties and construction of new is nonsense...perhaps the problemo is not having the right people in position to push projects forward after constructed...

Jahn said...

Paulie's Point of View said:

"i want space to eat and drink.."


mAYBE i SHOULD CAHNGE MY criticism from teh fact that new real estate doesnt change Worc demographics for the better to the fact that lotsa people have great intentions but things never seem to pan out in Worcester...which begs the question.....WHY??

Bill, also keep in mind that once we got the new Union Station, I think that about the same time we got commuter rail service to Bawstin which if anything was supposed to bring more people who work in greater boston tolive in Worcester and I am not so sure how well that panned out.

Now we're in the process of adding more trains and one benefit of these is going to be the revese commute to City Square........only thing is I am not so sure how this will pan out given we have no new large employers signed on to City Sq???????????...............Maybe soon???? Lets hope so

Bill Randell said...

Dave Z

Bill Randell said...

Dave Z

I got no problem with the city being involved in downtown financing but how about working with some private investors?

I would give the MAYO group the philly treatment 1) no permitting or sewer fees and 2) locking in the current assessed values.

We need get away from guaranteeing HUD loans and working on with quasi govt agencies.


Jahn said...

David, do we know if there are any parameters re this mixed use? If Mayo and Winn inundated us with too many more subsidized.....I will be more disappointed.

I am still of the opinion that you cant mix middle class working folks with poor people who dont need to get up to go work regularly, if at all.

David, just wondering if you got any more in "scoops" on City Sq.??

We really need a 3 or 4 bagger here now which could very well get City Sq over the hump.

Paulie's Point of View said...

incorrecto senor pedro jahn....we have house.most.of.the who ownes.baba.sushi is to one buildings...I have a.ten year the house I are wrong senor pedro.jahn....we.may not be the majority but I am seeing newer faces in the hood every day....worcester urban renewal has passed you are a long time wooite that aint gonna change and are to tired to.push the rock.forward

Paulie's Point of View said...

i cant disagree on your points but just doing what you have outlined is not enuf, senor pedro jahn.....and there are those banging the drum for precisely what you have outlined on the radio,in the newsprint,online and in face to face meetings with local,state and federal one is going to rush to Worcester cause it slipped from 14% to 10% no-lo income housing availability....i am guessing that well over fifty percent of the woo urban housing is in disrepair and probably the same in regards to being modern....shite most houses in my neighborhood are still heated by the kitchen stove and livingroom heater......this is a huge attracting middle clazs who still rent....especially young kids out of college

Jahn said...

Paulie, a slip to 10% NOLO housing will only happen via an increase in the solidly middle class demographic, b/c the way Worc is headed, the absolute # of NOLO units will continue to increase so the only way to decrease NOLO housing as a %'age will be through increased middle class housing..............maybe Downtown??? I'm not so sure Worc got enuff undev'ed land in solidly middle class neighborhoods

You surround that City Hall Common with anymore Pajama People then middle class folks will only come to DT to work and not live or shop there.

Middle calls Wimmen do most of the dicretionary shopping and they aint going anywhere near Worc DT until they clean up the Common and as long as there are nicer shopping venues in N'Boro, Framing/Natick, and Auburn.

Jahn said...

Also remember we got the T&G building re-hab and yesterdays T&G says no one knows what will go in therre once its ready to be fitted up for either residential, /commercial or a combo.

Now that statemnt is God dam scarey.

BTW what is going on with the Old Parisenne Theatre? Has it changed hands since the Code Dept overpowered them and if so who owns it? Maybe the city should give it the Hand It Over Theater treatment. i.e. zillions in gubmint aid once they deem it a key parcel.............i mean what could be more key to a rejuvenated franklin St then cleaning up that place?

Next up look for the bishop to off load Notre Dame to the City Sq folks. Christ almighty all Canucks who are peacefully sleeping over on Webster St will roll over in their graves if they ever raze that church.

I mean who recall 1993 when the good leader of the flock tried to close St Josephs on Hamilton St?

jahn said...

Occupations with the highest rate of fatal work injuries (deaths per 100,000 workers):

Fishers and related fishing workers: 116
Logging workers: 91.9
Aircraft pilots and flight engineers: 70.6
Farmers and ranchers: 41.4
Mining machine operators: 38.7
Roofers: 32.4
Refuse and recyclable materials collectors: 29.8
Driver/sales workers and truck drivers: 21.8
Industrial machinery installation, repair and maintenance workers: 20.3
Police and sheriff's officers: 18.0

David Z. said...

Jahn said: Next up look for the bishop to off load Notre Dame to the City Sq folks. Christ almighty all Canucks who are peacefully sleeping over on Webster St will roll over in their graves if they ever raze that church."

That's old news Jahn. It was sold to the CitySquare development group quite sometime ago. So we will be getting tax dollars on property previously exempt. And IIRC, they were exploring different options to retrofit the church into a modern use.

More great news for DT!

Jahn said...

Ty for the correction, David. More i think about it, I think I knew that and forgot it.

My instincts tell me it will eventually either be razed or be Moved, esp if City Sq is the success that we all hope for, as the land will be too valuable.

Theres another nearby church that was to moved 20+ years.....problem is there too many bridges in the way ..........and now then the city got involved.........then therer's the rest of the story

Paulie's Point of View said...

Artie Mooradian addressed potential nuevo.downtown business group today at library at request manager....lots of heavy hittahs in the room....honored that city manager requezted....we may have been only.ones in town but we were asked....artie was outstanding speaking....