Worcester to Get New Medical Center; Green Awards Winners Announced

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor CitySquare II Development Co. is planning to build a new cancer center for Saint Vincent Hospital of Worcester. The project is estimated to cost $21 million, with its opening scheduled for January 2013. Construction is due to begin [...]

CitySquare II Development Co. is planning to build a new cancer center for Saint Vincent Hospital of Worcester. The project is estimated to cost $21 million, with its opening scheduled for January 2013. Construction is due to begin within the next three to four weeks in CitySquare, as soon as the workers finish cutting away parts of a parking garage on Foster Street.

The primary investor is Opus Investment Management, a subsidiary of the Hanover Insurance Group, with the city of Worcester a public partner in the development. Timothy McGourthy, the city’s chief development officer, said it accepted the idea of tax relief for this new building despite the fact that infrastructure improvements require further funding, an issue still to be discussed with Saint Vincent and the main developer before a proposal can be submitted to the city council.

The 40,000-square-foot, two-story building will include treatment and research facilities for advanced cancer care services such as radiation therapy, medical oncology and chemotherapy, as well as cancer imaging, and will serve more than 1,300 patients a year from Worcester and Central Massachusetts. According to McGourthy, the hospital’s existing radiation services will be moved to the new oncology center.

The existing CitySquare comprises parking garages, office buildings and a shuttered shopping mall. The property was bought by Berkeley Investments Inc. of Boston in 2004; soon after the transaction closed, the investment company came up with a plan to tear down the mall and create new office buildings, stores, entertainment and luxury residences. The city council and state officials granted $94 million from public funds for the development’s infrastructure and other facilities, but the activity stopped as Berkeley Investments Inc. faced foreclosure. In 2010, disability insurance company Unum Group bought half of the CitySquare area for $5 million.

Also in the news this week, the city of Boston announced the Mayor’s Green Awards winners during a ceremony at the new “green” Atlantic Wharf skyscraper. Four Boston resident groups, 11 businesses and two sustainable food leaders were recognized for their commitment and efforts to bring growth and prosperity to the city’s neighborhoods while improving environmental quality in these urban areas.

The “Sustainable Food Leader” is a new category; the award went to Boston Organics of Charlestown and The Rox Diner of West Roxbury in recognition of their efforts to provide the freshest local food in the most sustainable manner.