City Lays Out Master Plan for Theatre District
Monday, March 11, 2013
The proposed plan is a joint effort between the Office of Economic Development and the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC), after the WBDC offered to partner with the City on a plan for the area surrounding the Hanover Theatre back in 2011.
"The Master Plan builds, in complementary fashion, on the public and private investments occurring at CitySquare and the numerous investments by other stakeholders throughout the Downtown," said Timothy McGourthy, the City's chief development officer, in a report to the City Council.
According to McGourthy, the Master Plan's action agenda contains eight main elements: creating a mixed-use district based around institutional growth, establishing an entertainment core that links with other activity areas and open spaces, increasing the stock of market-rate and student housing, attracting private and institutional investment, expanding district connections, creating an identity for the district and improving pedestrian travel, managing and increasing the supply of parking, and programing the area for life, work, study and play.
"We envision a Downtown Theatre District that is an active, mixed-use, 18-hour neighborhood with significant institutional and residential growth supporting a vibrant entertainment and cultural environment drawing residents, businesses and visitors to Downtown Worcester," the report states.
Several sites in the area, including vacant and under-utilized properties in need of renovation, have already been identified as primary opportunities for making the Master Plan's vision into a reality. The former Worcester Telegram building at 20 Franklin Street was one such property. The WBDC recently acquired the building.
"The WBDC and the City of Worcester initiated this Master Plan and are dedicated to the implementation of these recommendations," the report says.
"Both parties will need to work together to attract the necessary institutional users to bring activity to the Downtown."
On the map included in the report, City Hall and the Worcester Common were designated as community use areas, as were the blocks containing the Worcester Public Library and YWCA. Residential development was targeted for the blocks between Salem and Portland Sts. from Myrtle St. to Franklin St.
The Hanover Theatre's block would be host to ground-level retail space as well as community and educational/institutional properties, as would the area across from the theatre on Main St.
To develop the Master Plan, officials held public meetings with stakeholders throughout the area and several public discussion with the Board of Trustees at the Worcester Public Library, as well as a community discussion at the Hanover Theatre in January.
"I wish to thank the Worcester Business Development Corporation for its partnership on this planning effort and look forward to the City Council's review, comment, and ultimate approval as we look to create new vitality in the heart of our Downtown," said City Manager Michael O'Brien.
- PowerPlayer: The Hanover Theatre’s Troy Siebels
- The Hanover Theatre’s Best Shows of the Last Five Years
- Canal District Besieged By Parking Enforcement
- The Fight for Worcester’s District 1 Seat
- PowerPlayer: The Canal District’s John Giangregorio
- Economic Development: How Did Worcester Do in 2012?
- NEW:WPI Gets $42 Million from MassDevelopment for New Residence Hall
- NEW: Worcester Business Development Corporation Honors David Forsberg
Enjoy this post? Share it with others.
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.