MassDevelopment helps provide $16.2m for the revitalization of Downtown Worcester

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, said Tuesday that it has provided a total financing package of about $16.2 million to help complete the renovation of a Worcester building that was once the home of the Telegram & Gazette newspaper.

The plan is for the an affiliate of the Worcester Business Development Corp. to turn a big piece of the 135,000-square-foot facility into a new urban campus for Quinsigamond Community College, MassDevelopment said. The college looks to use its space in the building on Franklin and Federal streets for its Allied Health Services and Workforce Training and Employment programs.

The Worcester Business Development Corp., or WBDC, said the college will occupy about 75,000 to 80,000 square feet of that space. About 1,800 students should be able to start attending classes at the new location in the fall.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Plans for the site also call for a business incubator, a café, a theater, and professional office space.

The Telegram & Gazette relocated to 100 Front St. in Worcester in the summer of 2012.

“The renovation of the former T&G building is an excellent example of transformative development: revitalizing urban sites in the downtowns of our Gateway Cities to spur activity and growth,” MassDevelopment president and chief executive Marty Jones said in a statement. “We’re pleased to work with our long-time partners at the WBDC and local banks to provide opportunities for education and jobs in Worcester.”

MassDevelopment said it participated in the primary financing for this project with lead lender Fidelity Co-operative Bank and six other local participating institutions. The City of Worcester has committed $2.5 million to the project through a federal loan pogram. Part of the financing includes an allocation of $12 million in New Markets Tax Credits.

“The financing of this project is a key stage in the redevelopment of the former T&G building and the overall revitalization of Downtown Worcester,” Craig Blais, president and chief executive of the WBDC, said in a statement. “Programs such as New Markets Tax Credits, combined with the financial collaboration of local banks, have helped to make a redevelopment project of this magnitude become a reality.”

Last August, John W. Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, agreed to buy the Boston Globe, its websites and affiliated news businesses, as well as the Telegram & Gazette. In November, Henry said he was looking to sell the Telegram & Gazette.