Jim J. Egan
Worcester has among some of the best physical and intellectual infrastructure for doing in New England for your business. Centrally located, Worcester is the second largest city in the region with a growing population of 185,000+ people. Easy access, leading universities, top medical institutions, vibrant cultural and entertainment options, as well as a low cost of living make Worcester an increasingly attractive option for employers and employees. When you move to Worcester, the ever-expanding infrastructure of the city will have a direct and significant impact on your business.
Only 45 minutes from Boston, Providence or Hartford, Worcester is a convenient option for businesses and shipping freight.
- Recent upgrades to Worcester Regional Airport (ORH) by the Massachusetts Port Authority have helped attract three major carriers, including Jet Blue (Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and NYC), American Airlines (Philadelphia), and Delta (Detroit). The economic impact of the airport was estimated to be $96.7 million in a recent study conducted by MassDOT.
- Worcester’s Union Station Intermodal Transportation Center hosts the Massachusetts Bay Transportation (MBTA) rail service to Boston, providing 20 round-trip commuter rail trains each day with an express train that delvers commuters from Worcester to Boston’s South Station in under an hour. It also provides daily Amtrak rail service to and from Albany, Chicago, New York and Washington, DC. Additionally, the terminal is used as the hub for both intra- (Greyhound, Peter Pan) and inter- City bus (WRTA) services as well.
Young, Educated Workforce
With nine colleges bringing over 38,000 students to the City each year, Worcester has a pipeline of trained and skilled employees and has become a market for innovation.
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is one of the country’s premier engineering and technology universities. Its Bioengineering Institute has been a major factor in the growth of Worcester’s expanding biotechnology industry.
- UMass Medical School is the state’s only public academic health sciences center. It is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top medical schools in the country for primary care education. In 2018, UMass Medical received grants and contracts of $250 million.
- Becker College’s Video Game Design program was recently ranked #3 in the world by Princeton Review. WPI recently achieved a #7 ranking in game design. The success of these two schools and their game design programs have been the impetus for Worcester’s Auditorium undergoing a $94 million renovation into an innovative digital technology, arts and education center.
- The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services (MCPHS) has an urban campus in Worcester to train pharmacists, nurses, hygienists and other health professionals. The school invested more than $400 million buying, renovating and operating properties in downtown Worcester and currently enrolls more than 2000 students and about 250 employees.
- Recently,The College of The Holy Cross was recognized #3 best Liberal Arts school by Money Magazine and Clark University was named a best value among U.S. colleges by Kiplingers.
Culture & Entertainment
New restaurant openings have made Worcester one of the hottest foodie destinations in New England. The arts and entertainment scene is growing, too.
- Hanover Theatre was recently selected by POLLSTAR as one of the Top Theatres in the World. The 2,300-seat theatre has entertained over 2 million people.
- DCU Center is a 14,800 seat indoor arena that is home to the Worcester Railers hockey team and Massachusetts Pirates football team. Recently, DCU has hosted major music concerts (Luke Combs, Michael Buble, Phish, Green Day) and family shows (Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Sesame Street Live, Disney On Ice, Harlem Globetrotters). Attached to the arena is a thriving convention center with 100,00 square feet of exhibition space.
- Polar Park is a $100+ million baseball park currently under construction in Worcester’s Canal District. It will be home to the Boston Red Sox’s future Triple-A affiliate, the Worcester Red Sox.
The recently revised City Square project includes hundreds of millions of dollars worth of private and public investment, including 12-acres of office, medical, retail and residential space in the heart of the City’s business district. This massive investment has attracted waves of secondary and tertiary commercial real estate investment downtown and the surrounding areas.
Businesses looking to relocate are taking notice. The combination of lower costs, easy access, educated workforce, and hip urban vibe have begun to attract new businesses to the city. Many of these businesses are Boston companies looking to capitalize of Worcester’s momentum by opening up satellite offices. But there are bigger opportunities available in Worcester.
If you are a metro-Boston company considering relocating your headquarters, imagine building a signature building with your logo on it. Imagine occupying a smart building where costs are lowered and employees are more productive. Imagine a location where you are more accessible to your customers and vendors. Most importantly, imagine your employees no longer having to travel an hour and a half to get to work. Just think how much easier it will be to attract and retain employees when they realize that they can afford to buy the house of their dreams in Worcester and nearby communities without paying crushing mortgage payments.
Lots to consider, right?
Should you have any questions about this article – or any commercial real estate matter – please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or call me at 508-755-0707.