Construction cranes dot the Worcester’s skyline, a happy sign of economic resurgence for Central Massachusetts. More than $2 billion in real estate investments have recently been completed or are underway in Worcester. New buildings are rising to accommodate growth in healthcare, insurance, higher education, biotechnology and medical research, all major industries in the city.
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Brookings Institution recently named Worcester one of the top 20 strongest-performing metropolitan areas, and Forbes magazine identified it as one of the top 10 cities for families. Worcester also made the top ten list of Parenting Magazine’s best places in the country to raise a family in 2014. No wonder Central Massachusetts is seeing more population growth than any other region in the state.
In downtown Worcester, the first phase of the ambitious CitySquare development is nearing completion, with office towers and new streetscapes emerging where an indoor shopping mall once stood. Anchor investors include employee benefits provider Unum and the Saint Vincent Hospital Cancer Center. A few blocks down Main Street, the MCPHS University brings 1,000 students downtown. Becker College houses students in a renovated building in the downtown and Quinsigamond Community College is opened a new Healthcare and Workforce Development Training Center just down the street increasing activity in the heart of Worcester.
Over by Federal Square, the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC) is building on the success of the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts’ reclamation of the old Loew’s Poli Palace Theatre into a modern stage equipped for concerts and touring Broadway shows. The WBDC purchased the former Telegram & Gazette building and is working with partners to make the “Theatre District” the next area for revitalization. Encompassing some 35 acres of mixed-use buildings and public facilities surrounding the theater, such as the Bancroft Commons apartments, Worcester Public Library and the YWCA, the new District now has a master plan and market analysis to guide future development efforts.
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