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NEW: UMass Med to Seek Taxable Tenants For Biotech Park

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

 

The University of Massachusetts Medical School is committed to finding for-profit tenants for its newly-acquired properties at Worcester's Biotech Park in order to preserve tax revenues for the city, according to a letter from the school's chancellor to the City Manager on Tuesday.

Chancellor Michael Collins said the purchase of $40 million of property by newly-created non-profit subsidiaries of the school conducted late last week, which sent shockwaves through the city in light of the potential $1.5 million hit to Worcester's budget due to lost tax revenue, was kept under wraps due to a strict confidentiality agreement with the former property owner, California-based Alexandria.

"We are very mindful of the City's concern regarding tax revenue from the Biotech Park," Collins wrote. "We share that concern and, as I explained, we are committed to using our best efforts to attract high-quality, long-term, for-profit tenants to these properties. If we and the City are successful in doing so, the City's tax revenue will not be affected by the fact that the Park is owned by a non-profit entity."

City Manager Michael O'Brien met with the chancellor Monday morning, and said that he and Collins set a 30-day timeframe to come to an agreement on what the Biotech Park, which UMass is moving out of and back onto campus, will look like going forward.

Mayor Joseph Petty also received a copy of a letter from state Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury) and the Worcester delegation to Robert Caret, president of the UMass system, requesting his presence at an oversight hearing regarding the property acquired by the medical school's new subsidiaries in light of the potential budgetary impact on the City.

 

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