WORCESTER, MA-The first phase of a $30-million project to develop a 30-acre parcel in the Main South neighborhood is underway as the Main South Community Development Corp. prepares to demolish a number of houses on the site and clean up the property.

According to Tom Sweeney, assistant economic development director for the city, Main South CDC has taken responsibility for cleaning up the site–which was once home to a number of industrial companies–but that was factored into the sale price of the property. Nearly 90% of the properties in the seven and a half acres of the project’s first phase have been acquired, with none taken by eminent domain.

Clark University will develop a number of athletic fields on the site. In addition, a new Boys and Girls Club will be erected as well as 80 to 100 units of affordable housing. Funds for the project are coming from a variety of sources including federal, city and state sources as well as private donations, Sweeney notes.

The initiative for the revitalization project came about, he tells GlobeSt.com, “because of the basic decline of the neighborhood, the abandoned buildings and the area’s high crime rate.” Sweeney estimates that the first phase will be completed within two years.

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