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Jul. 24, 2012

Former Worcester Voke School Turns Residential

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A Boston-based development company announced details of a $30 million mixed-income residential complex that would replace a former school in Worcester that was shut down in 2006. As reported by Worcester Telegram & Gazette, WinnDevelopment—a division of Winn Companies—has entered an agreement with the building’s current owner, the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC) to purchase the former Worcester Vocational High School site on Grove Street for $1.7 million.

Dubbed the Voke Lofts, the complex will include 84 one- and two-bedroom rental units, 42 of which will be marketed as affordable for low-income tenants while the rest will be market rate. Future residents of Voke Lofts will have access to a fitness room, laundry services and community space that could also be used as an art gallery for local artists; the apartment building will also have offices for management and leasing.

Since the three-story school building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the developer was awarded $3.5 million in state housing tax exemptions and an additional $5 million in federal tax credits. Work at the site is scheduled to begin in spring 2013 and the project will take approximately 14 months to complete.

According to a recent forecast by Marcus & Millichap, the demand for rental units will remain firm in Philadelphia for the rest of 2012, while rising rents will push development companies to resume work on stalled residential projects.

Image courtesy of Panoramio, author D. Campbell; Charts courtesy of Marcus & Millichap.

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