Worcester Telegram & Gazette
April 2021

WORCESTER — Chip Norton of Franklin Realty Advisors announced Wednesday his firm was chosen to assume the property management, development, marketing and leasing activities for the 214,000-square-foot Unum office building in downtown Worcester.

Unum decided to permanently vacate more than 125,000 square feet of office space last summer and have its Worcester-based staff operate remotely after the onset of the pandemic.

Franklin Realty Advisors will work with Kelleher & Sadowsky, Conventures Inc. and SGA to rebrand and market the building as One Mercantile, a multitenanted Class A office building, according to a release by the groups Wednesday. The marketing campaign for the space will showcase the building’s strengths as the newest property in the market with the largest floor plate available, the best amenity package and a well-capitalized sponsor.

The agreement was effective Feb. 1, according to a release by Franklin Realty Advisors.

Norton, who also acts as the managing director of Mercantile Center, the Worcester Business Center, and the Southbridge Innovation Center, said the acquisition of the Unum building was an honor. The Mercantile Center in downtown Worcester includes 100 Front St., a 19-story building; and 120 Front St., a nine-story building.

“The well-known landmark building offers much to existing and new tenants,” Norton said in the release. “We have great plans to add to the current amenities and we welcome the existing and new tenants into the Mercantile Center building portfolio. Our highly skilled property managers at Mercantile Center, conveniently located across the street from One Mercantile, look forward to servicing the tenants at One Mercantile.”

Amenities included in One Mercantile include on-site covered parking, food options, a fitness club and on-site tenant meeting spaces.

“In addition, our exceptionally experienced leasing partners, Kelleher & Sadowsky, welcome the opportunity to introduce the space to new tenants as we continue to build the momentum of downtown Worcester as the place to work, live and socialize,” Norton said. “It will carry on and support the economic growth and vitality of the downtown area to ensure One Mercantile and downtown Worcester remain a hub of commerce in Central Massachusetts.”

Richard Meadows, vice president of Corporate Real Estate at Unum, said Unum supports the “repositioning and rebranding for the future prosperity of the building” and called One Mercantile a “major asset” to the community.

“This remarkable property, the former Unum building, now One Mercantile, offers much to existing and new tenants,” Meadows said. “Its first-in-class offices are centrally located in downtown Worcester. Its environmentally friendly building materials, tenant amenities, adjacent parking garage and close proximity to retail, entertainment venues and Mercantile Center make it an excellent location for existing and new companies. It further demonstrates the vibrant commercial development and business growth opportunities available in downtown Worcester.”

Franklin Realty Advisors is a commercial property development and management company. The leasing agent, downtown Worcester-based Kelleher & Sadowsky is the leading commercial real estate brokerage firm in Central Massachusetts. SGA is an architecture and design firm.

The group has not yet announced when One Mercantile will be fully operational.