WORCESTER, MA-Construction of a 350,000-sf shopping plaza along Route 146 is set to begin in June following planning board approval of the project. Worcester Crossing, a $30 million retail center being developed by Madison Properties, is being constructed on the site of a former US Steel manufacturing plant.

“We’re excited about getting started,” Madison Properties president Denis Dowdle tells GlobeSt.com, an understandable reaction after nearly three years of site work, neighborhood meetings and permitting machinations have finally paid off for the Boston-based real estate firm. The first phase will entail construction of a Wal-Mart Supercenter, followed by a 57,000-sf addition of smaller retail and restaurant options. The final phase will produce another 80,000 sf of retail space.

Madison’s signature project is a 502-room hotel in Boston’s Seaport District that itself just gained city approvals, but Dowdle counts himself more as a retail specialist. The 43-acre Worcester parcel, he explains, was appealing due to a mix of market demographics, limited supply and $170 million in roadway improvements done along Route 146 in the past decade, changes which Dowdle says have made a major difference.

“That is really going to open Worcester up to the rest of the world for the first time in many years,” he says, estimating at least 15 minutes has been shaved off for travelers coming from the east. As a result of the better access, many new development opportunities are emerging.

“The Blackstone Parkway/Route 146 connection between Worcester and Providence is one of many public and private initiatives in Worcester coming to fruition,” concurs assistant city manager Julie Jacobson, who praised Madison for being among the first developers to recognize the potential of the changes. “Worcester Crossing will be an important generator of jobs and economic activity that will benefit the residents of Worcester and the region,” Jacobson says, with projections of 700 full-time positions.

Besides the Wal-Mart commitment, no significant leases have been signed, but Dowdle says there is an encouraging level of interest among prospective tenants. Atlantic Retail Properties is listing agent at Worcester Crossing. Serving not just the Worcester population of 175,000, the center is also expected to draw from nearby communities such as Auburn, Milbury and Westborough.

“Historically, Worcester has been under-retailed,” Dowdle says in assessing the competition. Armed with the city’s blessing, the developer says he hopes to have the first phase ready for shoppers by the third quarter of 2008.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

GlobeSt Net Lease Spring 2024Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information
 

GlobeSt

Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.