Worcester Telegram & Gazette
October 2021

WORCESTER — Mercantile Center has two new tenants as more businesses make their return to traditional office space.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Committee For Public Counsel Services (CPCS) and the law firm of Boyle-Shaughnessy Law are the latest tenants to move into the downtown office building.

Boyle-Shaughnessy occupies 3,300 square feet of office space on the 15h floor of 100 Front St., moving around the corner from its previous location at 446 Main St. CPCS occupies 16,200 square feet of office space on the third floor of 120 Front Street.

Chip Norton, managing director of Mercantile Center and Franklin Realty Advisors, said occupancy at 100 Front St. is currently at 90% while 120 Front St. has reached 86% occupancy, leaving space for more potential office tenants.

Norton said Boyle-Shaughnessy and CPCS were attracted to Mercantile Center because of the overall amenities and quality of the facility. Both tenants held existing leases downtown but chose to relocate to the prime downtown office buildings when their leases expired, with CPCS signing a 10-year lease and Boyle-Shaughnessy signing a five-year lease.

Despite leasing activity slowing down during the height of the pandemic, Norton said tenants renewed over 100,000 feet of existing leases in the building. But new activity in Mercantile Center had pretty much come to a halt up until September.

“We have seen a real uptick in activity, really starting right before Labor Day over the last four to six weeks,” Norton said. “I don’t know if we’re back already to where we were pre-pandemic, but we’ve seen a nice rebound in activity over the last two months, which is good to see.”

The recent increase in downtown office tenants comes in part from suburban companies migrating back into the city. Norton said companies located in the suburbs found it difficult employing millennial workers in spaces with fewer amenities, now drawing them into cities like Worcester which serves as a “smaller urban market” with desirable amenities in and around the office space.

Norton said he can’t anticipate whether the uptick of activity will continue steadily through the next year, but said he is “optimistic that this hopefully will be a trend that will continue.”

William Kelleher of Kelleher & Sadowsky, a commercial real estate brokerage firm in Central Massachusetts, represented the landlord on both transactions, and Cornerstone Bank funded the improvements and build-out.

By Isabel Sami