WinnCompanies Completes 18th Adaptive Reuse Project

WinnCompanies’ real estate component, WinnDevelopment, has announced the completion of its adaptive reuse project, Voke Lofts, located at 34 Grove Street in Worcester, Mass.

From left to right: Gilbert Winn, Managing Principal of WinnCompanies; Aaron Gornstein, Undersecretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development; Congressman Jim McGovern; David Leopold, SVP, Tax Credit Equity Executive, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; MassHousing Executive Director Thomas R. Gleason; Worcester City Councilor Phillip Palmieri; Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr.; Michael O’Brien, Executive Vice President, WinnCompanies. Image by Erb Photography.

Boston—WinnCompanies’ real estate component, WinnDevelopment, has announced the completion of its adaptive reuse project, Voke Lofts, located at 34 Grove Street in Worcester, Mass. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on June 30th to mark the completion of the project at the former Worcester Vocational Technical School building and to celebrate WinnCompanies’ 18th successful adaptive reuse project.

The ceremony was attended by public figures including U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., Worcester City Councilor Phillip Palmieri, City Manager Edward m. Augustus, Jr. and several others.

“This is a great day for Winn and the City of Worcester,” says Gilbert Winn, managing principal of WinnCompanies. “The school is an important part of Worcester’s past and we’re honored to preserve the character of the building in its latest incarnation, which brings much needed quality housing to the city.”

Voke Lofts will be the lone housing component in Worcester’s Gateway Park Master Plan—an innovative redevelopment of the 55-acre brownfield district that has been facilitated by a partnership between Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC).

“The Voke Lofts project is a shining example of the positive things that can happen when government and the private sector work together to address community challenges,” says McGovern. “This major investment will transform a brownfield site and rundown school facility into a vibrant mixed-use community right in the heart of downtown Worcester.”

The 84 units at Voke Lofts, an 116,306-square-foot structure, will be divided up between affordable and market-rate leases, with the affordable component being restricted to households with incomes between 30 and 60 percent of the area’s median household income. Market rate units are currently 70 percent leased and the income-restricted units were filled via lottery.

Floor plans at the building include a spread of 50 one-bedroom units, 31 two-bedroom units, and three three-bedroom units. Each unit features exposed brick as well as open ceilings and beams equipped with track lighting, gourmet kitchens, designer bathrooms, individual air conditioning within the units as well as Energy Star appliances.

Amenities and services at the community include an on-site management office, a community room with kitchen, a computer learning center, a children’s play area, a fitness center and ample bike storage. Additionally, Voke Lofts will include an art gallery that will feature work from Worcester Technical High School as well as older works from the school’s past.

Renovation efforts, which helped to create 230 construction jobs in the Worcester area, include sustainable features that WinnDevelopment hopes will help the building garner LEED certification at some point.

“With the support of our state and local government, the historic Worcester Vocational Technical School became a mixed-income residential building with an array of amenities to support a strong quality of life,” says Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “This is the kind of project our city needs. Not only did it create new construction jobs to help contribute to the local economy, it also provides residents with an affordable new housing option as part of the City of Worcester’s Gateway Park Master Plan. I highly applaud and encourage these companies for their commitment to the development of their city and their desire to improve its quality.”