April 22, 2019

City looks to rezone WooSox, mixed-use site

Photo | TMS Aerial Solutions
The site of a proposed $240 million mixed-use development and the ballpark for the Worcester Red Sox.
Photo | Courtesy

To facilitate the $240-million construction of the new home of the Pawtucket Red Sox and an associated mixed-use development, Worcester officials are proposing to rezone the entire property.

The proposal would extend the general business district south of the Providence & Worcester Railroad to include more than 18 acres of land in the Canal District to be home to at least one hotel, apartments, office space, restaurants, other commercial space and the $101-million ballpark.

Currently, the majority of the property formerly home to manufacturer Wyman-Gordon is zoned general manufacturing.

The city's Downtown Urban Revitalization Plan, recently amended to facilitate the ballpark project, calls for the rezoning of the property consistent with any proposed redevelopment plan.

On Tuesday, City Manager Edward Augustus will ask the City Council to transfer the proposal to the Planning Board to begin the process.

Most of the proposed zone includes properties the city or Boston developer Madison Downtown Holdings has either acquired or identified for acquisition. The city via the Worcester Redevelopment Authority has begun the eminent domain process for three properties but has not yet acquired land.

The WRA needs to acquire at least four other properties for the project.

The city and team announced in August plans for the Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate to move to Worcester for the start of the 2021 season. Construction is supposed to begin in July, but no planning documents have been submitted and the city has fallen behind schedule on land acquisitions.

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