Worcester, MA The Trolley Yard, a mixed-use development located at 287 Grove St., is another major success story for Webster-based developer Galaxy Development.
The 5.3 acre site previously served as a bus and trolley maintenance facility, garage and vehicle storage yard for The Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA). The WRTA advisory board unanimously selected Galaxy for the property over many other competing bids to develop the site. Galaxy completed its due diligence and closed on the property in March 2016. After waiting for the WRTA to exit the property, Galaxy then took on a two year process of asbestos abatement, demolition, and environmental cleanup. Once concluded, construction of a prime retail center began.
Situated between Grove St. and Park Ave. in the Gold Star Blvd. trade area of the city, the traffic counts exceed 20,000 vehicles on both roads. The demographics include 150,000 people within a three-mile radius as the city is the second largest city in New England.
“This was an exciting challenge to create a first class retail development on one of the key commercial corridors in Worcester,” said Michael O’Brien, principal of Galaxy. “What was once a vacant and contaminated site that housed an outdated bus garage, has now become a vibrant plaza which has brought new businesses and jobs to the city.”
Phase I consists of three buildings with a total of 26,457 s/f. Highly sought after tenants such as Starbucks, Chipotle, Hot Table Panini, Orange Theory Fitness, Sprint, Gentle Dental, Island Fin Poke, Alpha Nails, Sprint, Rockland Trust Bank, Workers Credit Union, Fast Fix, and NKD esthetics studio quickly signed leases to fill the plaza before construction was finished.
Construction of Phase II, the final 40,500 s/f two-story building then began and is still in process. The first tenant, The Goddard School, opened earlier this year in an 11,000 s/f two-story end cap. Goddard offers early childhood education for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years old. It is the first Goddard School in the city and the 15th in Massachusetts.
“The synergy of our tenants is incredible,” O’Brien said. “They all feed off of each other’s success and a customer can spend several hours at The Trolley Yard moving from a hot coffee to school drop off, then to workout at the gym, get their hair or nails done, do their banking and have a great lunch. The mixed use of tenants continues to attract new interest for the last 30,000 s/f of space that will be completed this year.”
The relentless efforts of several people ensured that the project proceeded smoothly. Attorneys Todd Brodeur and Mark Donahue of Fletcher Tilton in Worcester represented Galaxy throughout the process. Financing for the development and the construction loan was provided by bankHometown. Pat Doherty of Midpoint Engineering in Webster provided the civil engineering and construction oversight. Galaxy used the architectural services of Bill Greelish of Phase Zero Design in Hingham. Environmental services were provided by Deb Wojcicki of Knight Science in Easthampton and Jerry Tolosko of Roux Associates in Woburn. Construction managers for the project were Nigel Doyle of Galaxy Management and Jim Simmons of JKS Consulting.
Galaxy Development has been involved in numerous projects in central Mass. in recent years and is actively seeking new opportunities. Galaxy is also nearing completion of Lucky Pick Self Storage at 49 James St. in the city which is scheduled to open in June with over 500 units of climate controlled space. Galaxy properties can be found throughout New England and New York.
Project team includes:
• Galaxy Development - Developer
• M&E Mechanical Contractors - HVAC
• Phase Zero - Architect
• AC Glass Inc. - Glass and Skylights
• Fletcher Tilton PC - Attorney
• A Block Away Construction LLC - Blockwork
• bankHometown - Financing