CSS’s master plan for the redevelopment of this 55-acre brownfields district adjacent to downtown Worcester created an active, mixed-use commercial and residential district. A series of plazas, tree-lined streets, and pedestrian paths provide amenities for new development. Active ground floor uses also enliven the pedestrian environment. The project involved market and financial feasibility analysis; site assessment; urban design and land use analysis; and evaluation of alternative development scenarios for office, R&D, restaurant, hotel, and residential use. Design guidelines, an infrastructure improvements plan, and a phasing plan for the preferred development scenario were developed. The phasing and financial components of the Plan took into account the somewhat divergent interests of the client team, an innovative partnership of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the Worcester Business Development Corporation, and a private developer.
Development to date, in addition to infrastructure improvements, includes a 125,000 square foot research and development building, a 92,000-square foot laboratory/office building, a 680-car parking garage, an 89,000-square-foot (258 student) WPI LEED-certified residence hall and the ongoing rehabilitation of the former Worcester Vocational School for 84 residential units. CSS has provided ongoing planning and design services during implementation.
Gateway Park has been recognized as a national model of environmental stewardship and urban redevelopment. In 2007, the park won the prestigious Phoenix Award for its successful redevelopment of an old industrial site. Also in 2007, the U.S. Department of Commerce gave Gateway Park the Excellence in Economic Development Award for Urban or Suburban Economic Development. In 2008, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts designated Gateway Park as the anchor for the state’s first Growth District, a new initiative to accelerate job creation in locations that are primed and ready for development.