Breathing New Life into Worcester’s Former County Courthouse

Worcester County CourthouseSince 2007, the Worcester County Courthouse at 2 Main Street has been largely vacant.  After the trial courts moved to the new Worcester Regional Judicial Center at 225 Main Street in the fall of 2007, the Worcester Law Library was the only inhabitant of the building until the Library relocated in the spring of 2009.  Despite its lack of use, since 2007 the City of Worcester has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for heat, security, and maintenance of the unused building.

In 2014, Governor Patrick conveyed ownership of the building to the City of Worcester after the Commonwealth had tried unsuccessfully for five (5) years to sell the building.  The City sought parties interested in the purchasing the property and received four proposals.  The City Manager and his economic development team selected Brady Sullivan Properties, LLC as the preferred developer.  Brady Sullivan Properties, LLC is a New Hampshire real estate development company involved in both the commercial and residential real estate markets in New England, owning and managing over three million square feet of mill, office and industrial space.  Brady Sullivan Properties, LLC proposes to purchase the property for $1.2 million to develop into residential housing units and retail space.  It plans to invest approximately $120,000 per unit to build 115 market rate units and 3,000 square feet of retail space.

The proposal has the support of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, which played a critical role in recruiting the developer to the site.  The Chamber of Commerce highlights the short term benefit of approximately 110 full-time construction jobs will be generated for the estimated 12 – 14 month construction period.  In the long run, this property will benefit the City by increasing the customer base for existing businesses in Downtown Worcester and on Highland Street and generating approximately $150,000 in property taxes annually.  The developer has not asked the City for any taxpayer assistance on the proposed deal.    Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty had made public statements that he intends to vote in favor of the sale to Brady Sullivan Properties, LLC.

The deal isn’t done yet and the Worcester City Council Economic Development Committee will meet at 6:15 pm on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 to further discuss the proposed sale.

The new Worcester Regional Judicial Center received a 2007 Project Achievement Award from Construction Management Association of America for “New building project with a constructed value exceeding $100 million.”  Let’s see what can be done down the street with the development of the old Worcester County Courthouse.

Jessica Murphy is a member of Mirick O’Connell’s experienced Construction Group and frequently litigates construction disputes at the Worcester Regional Judicial Center and other courthouses across the Commonwealth.  If you have a construction question, please contact Jessica at (508) 791-8500 or jmurphy@mirickoconnell.com.

About Jessica Murphy

Jessie is an associate in the Litigation Group and currently concentrates on commercial litigation cases. She handles a broad range of business disputes involving commercial contracts, construction, banking and commercial landlord/tenant. She also provides legal service and advice to companies on credit and collection matters. She serves as litigation counsel for a variety of local and national companies, including manufacturing companies, construction companies, banking and financial institutions, and professional service firms. She works with clients to create efficient and cost-effective solutions to business problems and focuses on providing real results.
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