WORCESTER – Economic Development was a large discussion topic during the 2017 municipal election. First term District 1 City Councilor Sean Rose is making good on his promise to voters by filing an order asking City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. to look into the possibility of working with the owner of the parcel of property where Barbers Crossing Restaurant was formerly located.
The former restaurant location, located at 321 West Boylston St, has been abandoned since 2006 and the building is in a state disrepair. It is part of the land plot that includes another restaurant, Wicked Wing Co.
“The city has been patient regarding development of that property,” Rose said in a phone interview. “I’m just disappointed that it has taken this long.”
Rose said that one of his top priorities in his first term is to make the West Boylston St. corridor a target for economic development. He envisions the area could be developed in a similar way to that of Shrewsbury St., Worcester’s “Restaurant Row”.
“It’s a great opportunity for an untapped resource,” Rose said of the development of the area.
However, Rose said that it is tough to promote economic development in an area when one of the first properties that is visible is abandoned and in such disrepair.
“There are very few entities in the City of Worcester that are an eyesore,” Rose said. “It brings down the value of the properties around it.”
According to city records, the property is owned by Louise Zottoli of Holden. Zottoli did not respond to multiple phone calls requesting comment.
Rose wants to build off the momentum of the commonly named “Worcester Renaissance,” but believes a property in that condition for that long impedes its progress.
“It’s tough to measure the trajectory of a renaissance when you see that,” Rosen said
When asked if his order was a call to action, Rose said he recognizes the situation is complex and that he is looking for information and what the city’s options could be.
The City Council will see its biggest agenda of the new term on Tuesday night. Some orders that are noteworthy include:
- Fresh off of the news that she did not accept the city council pay raise Councilor At-Large Konstatina B. Lukes has filed two orders with regards to pay raise. The first is an action by the city council to eliminate the automatic pay raise. The second is referring future pay raises be put to a public vote. Councilor At-Large Gary Rosen also declined the pay raise for this term.
- Mayor Joseph M. Petty has filed an order to ask for different ways that the newly acquired property surrounding the Senior Center be utilized. He is asking for plans specific to creating senior housing
- Councilor At-Large Morris A Bergman is asking for City Manager Augustus report back on marketing efforts to encourage people to relocate to Worcester amid all the new housing that has been developed.
- District 2 Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson is asking for an update on the use of the Memorial Auditorium
- In a cost savings effort, Coucnilor Rose is asking for the operations and maintenance of dams that are located in surrounding towns, but maintained by Worcester Department of Public Works, be reviewed and possibly turned back over to those towns
- A citizen petition by Stephen Quist, also known as “Q”, is doubling down on the call for term limits. Quist is asking for the City Council to go on record in support of the creation of a Worcester Charter Commission.
Tuesday’s meeting will start at 6:30 PM and will be held in the Esther Howland Chamber in Worcester’s City Hall.