Friday, November 16, 2007

Progress Part 2

As I have mentioned previously I just moved downtown into the newly refurbished Bancroft Hotel building in the development that is known as Bancroft Commons. Bancroft Commons is not just the Bancroft itself but is actually a rather large mixed use development that is the Bancroft Hotel along with the entire block between Portland and Salem Streets minus the Printer's Building. The company doing the development is called the Mayo Group and from what I have seen so far they seem to really have their act together and have a tremendous vision of what their little corner of downtown Worcester can become. Of course, and probably for this very reason, there has been minimal press on the Mayo development. How much negative press has City Square gotten? Here we have a developer who is doing it and doing it right and very few people are even speaking about it. Worcester loves it's negativity and with City Square Wootown negamongers seem to have hit the motherload.

I have been here for one month and so far I love it. I know some things and I have heard some things. What I know is this. There is a Hookah Bar/Coffee House going into the space at the corner of Franklin and Portland. In the picture below you can see where the windows have been soaped at that space. There is a Super 88 going into the old Bancroft Nissan on Salem St. It will be nice to have a grocery store within walking distance just to pick up groceries. I don't mind going to Green Island for my meat and produce but I am kind of stuck when it comes to grocery. Super 88 will fill that need.

These are the things I know about. Things I have heard about that are not confirmed are that the Paris is being demolished, which would be awesome and take a heavy load off of the image of downtown. If Mayo successfully demolishes the Paris Connie Lukes herself should give John McGrail the key to the city. Also the two tenemant buildings on Portland are getting demolished and all of that open space is to be replaced with a brand new residential high rise. I have actually seen the artist renderings for this but you know, until I see actual progress on this front it is all hear say. I also hear that an established cafe in another area of downtown is going to move into one of the basement spaces in the Bancroft. I hope that happens soon. Those empty basement spaces look awful. Mayo should do something to dress those windows until something moves in there.

What I feel that Mayo is doing correctly is they are trying to bring people in before they do anything else. Before offices and before commercial. Offices and employees are great and we need them downtown but in my opinion you can only expect about 12 hours of vibrancy from people working downtown while you can expect 18 hours of vibrancy from people living here.

So I am very happy with my new abode downtown and happy to be contributing to what finally may be the rebirth of downtown Worcester. I have to believe in it you know? I really have no other choice. I mean if you had a son or daughter that made mistakes her whole life you would have no choice than to support him or her every time they made an effort to make strides in their life, right? I was on the fence for a very long time about this city. Now that I have finally decided that this is where home is, that Worcester isn't just a place I am temporarily but a place were I will most likely live out the remainder of my days I have never seen things clearer. And speaking of seeing things it's fun to see progress and change everyday. I have a pretty good vantage point too. Check it out.


Anonymous said...

why does the fire alarm go off so often and how do the office workers last only a couple weeks?

Gabe said...

Obviously someone who lives or has lived in the building. These are both questions I don't know the answer too. For the most part though they are things that don't bother me though, even though they should.

It's funny, almost 9 months later I go back and read that post and I can hear all the optimism in the entry.

9 months later I still say it's one of the best decisions I have ever made. Living down here is great.

JR Moreau said...

I'm living in a relative's 3-decker right now but want to be close to downtown so I can get on the train to Boston and ride the rails to work instead of drive. This sounds like a great place. Lots of amenities.