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cloudship

City Square - Alternative Ideas?

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OK, let's just say for a minute that the City Square project ends up not going through. Say the developer pulls out or they can't get any tenants or something like that. So there's this hulking derelict mall sitting there, two office towers that are full so you can't tear them down, and you need to provide some parking for those.

So what else do you do with it? I don't know how sound the structure is - it's been neglected for many years and the past winter did a number on it. Should it be rehabbed and turned into something else? Torn Down? What would put in it's place?

This is kind of a blue sky brainstorming session.

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We've talked from time to time in the Providence section about the possibility of turning abandoned big box stores into artists spaces. Could be something that could happen at an abandonded mall. It's also something we've talked about concerning the Rhode Island Mall which is all but abandoned.

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Whatever happens there, the mall has to go. Worcester has plenty off abandoned old factories that can be turned into artist / loft spaces. The mall is in the way to connect downtown to all the nice upcoming areas - Shrewsbury Street, Canal district, Union Station. So in my opinion, what has to be done first is tear the mall down and reopen Front Street. What they are going to build there instead is secondary.

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I don't know how feasible this would be, given all the equipment they would need, but perhaps the Worcester Center for Crafts could be encouraged to look at part of that space. It might be a good kick to get some artistic expresion downtown.

Personally, I am not convinced that the center HAS to be opened up to the highway - there really isn't any exit there, it's not like there is anything better to see beyond it, and just being open wouldn't actually be any kind of enticement for people to go any further. The real connection to Mainstreet exists up Foster street and from Lincoln Square. What is more bothersome is the fact that it is a garage that is designed to really discourage walking about there. Then agin, with the poor maintenace of the building, THAT may be a moot point.

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Perhaps the city could encourage one or more of the area colleges to expand there.

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Well, I guess this topic is obsolete:

Worcester Telegram, April 26:

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That is good news for CS, I know in Pittsburgh they are also redeveloping some core downtown blocks. For too long the "snowbelt" cities have suffered a doughnut affect, good to see that throughout the NE developers are rediscovering what treasures the old downtown cores hold!

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"The governor signed into law $639 million in capital and economic stimulus spending, including $25 million for public portions of Worcester

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