WORCESTER – City Council will be asked on Tuesday to issue an indenture restriction that will allow ongoing plans to create “commercial condominiums” on a pair of vacant lots on Main Street to go ahead.
The application includes release deed restrictions that give him the right of first refusal if parcels at 811 and 813 Main St. are sold.
The city sold the plots, across from Beacon Pharmacy, to a real estate trust controlled by developer Frank Zitomersky in 2002. The original plan was to redevelop the plots as retail and off-street parking, but according to a communication to the City Council Director Edward M. Augustus Jr., the Main South Community Development Corp. has an agreement to purchase the property and develop a one-story building with multiple storefronts.
Peter Dunn, the city’s director of development, said in a statement that the “commercial condominiums” will provide businesses with a unique “rent-to-own” opportunity. Units will range in size from 1,175 square feet to 1,720 square feet.
MassDevelopment has conditionally approved a $950,000 equity investment in the projects, which aligns with the goals of the Main South Transformative Development Initiative, Dunn said.
Land sale Airport Hill
Council will also be asked on Tuesday to approve the disposition of a 6-acre parcel of land at 146 Goddard Memorial Drive.
According to Augustus, the city selected Criterion Group LLC as the preferred bidder. Criterion was actually the sole bidder and offered $750,000 for the property. He plans to turn it into a parking lot. He owns the parking lot immediately adjacent to 146 Goddard, Dunn said in a statement. Dunn describes as having topographical challenges that would make development difficult.
Firefighters union negotiations
The board is due to convene an executive session on Tuesday evening “for the purpose of discussing strategy regarding contract negotiations with IAFF Local 1009, the Worcester Fire Department”.
There are a variety of council orders on Tuesday’s agenda, including several housing-related items.
District 3 Councilman George Russell asks the City Manager to consider allocating funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to establish a down payment assistance program for new owners of owner-occupied properties, and will ask the Director to provide additional assistance of up to three times the typical first-time homebuyer amount for those who would become their family’s first-generation homeowners.
District 4 Councilwoman Sarai Rivera calls on the City Manager and Director of Development to work with various stakeholders, including the community and City Council, “to create policy solutions that advance racial equity in housing “.
General Counsel Kathleen Toomey asks the city manager to consider using ARPA funds to create a rent-to-own program, “which would also incorporate a sweat equity element for those wishing to purchase a three floors in the city that is not fully rented, which would open up more apartments and home ownership.”
Contact Steven H. Foskett, Jr. at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @SteveFoskettTG