WBJ Brad Kane In This Issue: Extra Scrutiny for Polar Park

Many Great Comments

 A thought just occurred to me after I posted my comment, our expectations. I expect good public safety, good public works (streets,trash and water&sewer) and good schools being paid with my taxes. 

The City went beyond what are our are normal expectations and "invested" in the construction the ball park and set a new expectation that the project would not cost us taxpayers. Then the cost overruns,75% of the original budget, occurred and the development which was expected to pay for the ball park has been delayed. 

It is logical to ask questions to see if the expectations which were set by the City are still valid. On a side note I will say the states reconstruction of the peanut exceeded expectations. This leads me to my final comment. 

Government's involvement in development should be limited to infrastructure and let the private sector develop non governmental buildings because an "investment" of public funds could become a gamble of public funds.

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Bob Kraft asked the state for money when he wanted to build the new Gillette Stadium. The state turned it down so he ended up having to finance the whole thing himself. The state did pay to update the road network to and from the stadium, but the politicians in Boston made it clear that he wasn't getting any money for the stadium. 

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 There is an article in the T&G about the majority of the ownership not selling their interest in the WooSox. One of the reasons for not selling is they want to see their real estate plans come to fruition. The article did not report on their real estate plans. 

A previous comment spoke about a gas station on Quinsig Ave. I don’t see these owners not selling because of a gas station. This leads me to these questions which I assume the reporter did not ask or did not report, do they have plans to buy additional properties and redevelop them or are they involved somehow with Madison. If this is the case they may have really out bargained the City because they have the best of both worlds.

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The ballpark most likely was constructed so fast because the City had to have it open for the start of last season which is probably one of the reasons for the cost overruns, overtime and second shifts. I thought read that the PawSox lease had expired and they had no where to play. 

This is unlike the developers time frame which is driven by the market. You would of thought that with the state of the residential market they would be in overdrive to get the housing completed but that does not appear to be the case which makes no sense to me. The office building, hotel an lab buildings are probably years away or might be substituted with something else because of the market conditions. 

What I have learned from reading about the airport is how much the airlines rely on business travel which is down. I assume that extends to hotels. Another commenter made reference to the 2nd hotel at Washington Sq which has been waiting for 5-6 years now.This must be because the market may not support this many hotels.

The office building has similar issues. The City has a glut of class a office space between the glass tower and the UNUM building. Couple that with the fact that a lot of places have transitioned to employees working from home. Who would build a new office building in this environment. 

This is one persons observation and from this I am questioning if the project will pay for itself, even with the addition of the Cove and Table Talk developments.

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Comments

Common Sense said…
The last thing Worcester needs right now is more hotel space. The AC Marriott Hotel downtown was struggling even before the pandemic. The owner of the Beechwood has stated before that he barely breaks even (although the new research building being constructed at the medical school and the expansion of the biotech park might help his numbers). I drove through Washington Square today and there is still no activity at the site of the "proposed" hotel there. I agree about the glut of office space downtown. A lot of the empty office spaces have (or are going to be) converted to residential use. The fairly new UNUM Tower at CitySquare (Class A Space) has been totally vacated. I think the Mercantile Center still has quite a bit of space not leased. Not a good situation for any real estate owner trying to rent office space downtown.
Common Sense said…
Nice to read in the WBJ today that a restaurant developer (the one that recently bought the Wexford House) has purchased the old Living Earth building on Chandler Street. The City plans a complete rebuild of the street and sidewalks there to help beautify the street (similar to what they did on Main Street). Also, some of the old vacant factory buildings on the street have been renovated for apartments. It's good news that an area that has been notorious for drug dealing and prostitution might be on the rebound.
Anonymous said…
The market has changed and will continue to do so. In the WBJ there is an article about the Living Earth Building but in the Telegram there is an article about Z Cafe closing. One of the reasons for there closing was the lack of foot traffic with the pandemic from downtown office building. This is why buiding a new office building on Green St may be difficult, especially with inflationary costs.
Common Sense said…
I think the sandwich shop on the first floor of the new UNUM building closed when the employees left. The 110 Grille misses the business from the employees that would stop for drinks and appetizers after work.

I guess the Ruth Steakhouse is still a go,
but I'll probably stick to the 111 Chophouse about a half mile away. I just prefer the valet rather than having to park and walk from the underground city garage.

On the plus side,the 500 seat rooftop bar at CitySquare should be opening soon. Mr. Rucker's new bar/ nightclub behind the DCU is opening soon. It's just a very competitive business. I think I read once that only 30% of new restaurants make it past 5 years.