October 22, 2018

Worcester aims to secure $32.5M state grant for PawSox parking

Image/Courtesy
A rendering of a new stadium for the soon-to-be Worcester Red Sox and a related mixed-use development. The total $240 million project is expected to open starting in 2021.

City Manager Edward Augustus will ask the Worcester City Council on Tuesday for authorization to spend $32.5 million to build a new Canal District parking garage and improve the area's infrastructure to support the eventual building of $90-million Polar Park for the Pawtucket Red Sox and surrounding developments.

The city already has an agreement with the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development's MassWorks Infrastructure Program, but a grant application must be submitted to formalize that agreement and issue the funding, Augustus said in correspondence to the council.

The funding will help build a 350-to-500-space garage and improve infrastructure through new streets, streetscape and place-making amenities in the Canal District, Augustus said.

Construction is expected to begin next July to ensure the future home of the Pawtucket Red Sox will be ready to go for opening day in March 2021.

In addition to the $90-million ballpark, the overall $240-million project includes an ambitious project from Boston-based Madison Properties to build two new hotels, 65,000 square feet of restaurants and retail space and another 200,000 square feet of residential and office space.

In addition to the MassWorks grant, the city, team and developer will benefit from funding from the state Department of Transportation for an overhaul of Kelley Square, the main entrance into the Canal District off of I-290.

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