Tag Archives: Worcester Common Ground CDC

Meeting Tim, Worcester’s economic development czar

By Rosalie Tirella

Yesterday, at the Worcester Common Ground CDC celebration at the CDC’s tot lot in the heart of our inner city, I got a chance to button-hole, “interview” the city’s two economic development guys. Guys I had been trying to track down the day before at ol City Hall. I had some questions about the city’s new take on building affordable housing for Woo residents. After all, almost half of Worcester’s population is eligible for affordable housing.

First Miguel Rivera, a guy who works for economic development czar Tim Mcgourthy. It was such a pretty day yesterday! Everyone seemed to be having such a good time at the CDC tot lot! You would think all the food and good vibes would have loosened Rivera up some. Nope. All smiles, he offered nothing of value. Said he couldn’t and wouldn’t discuss the city’s CDCs. Said he wasn’t allowed to.

After the event, I checked my email. I had gotten an email from his city hall secretary, Amanda R. Amanda said Miguel wanted to know what questions I would be asking him if I interviewed him. Better yet, could I email her the questions?

Who are these pointless people? I mean, is this New York City? Are we living in Gotham, for cripe’s sake? Third-tier Worcester deserves at the very least workman like, basic, human interactions. Nothing fancy. Stop the games and let me ask a guy, a city employee, some fucking questions in his fucking office. Public’s right to know and all. I answered Amanda’s email. Told her I had button holed Miguel at a city event and that people like her made city government … pointless. Were a detriment to citizens understanding their city. Thanks for nothing.

Why are so many women TOOLS? I mean, you can be a secretary and still think for yourself!

2. Tim Mcgourthy, Worcester’s Chief Economic Development czar. The guy who holds the keys, or at least some of them, when it comes to housing and business development in our city.

I was pleasantly surprised. Tim is a nice guy. Very nice guy. Awfully friendly. I would call him down to earth and even sweet. He is the kinda guy women call adorable. At the event yesterday, he gave a very nice little speech in support of the work the WCG CDC was doing. He hung around and talked with folks and he let me ask him questions and tell him my reservations about the city’s affordable housing policy, new and supposedly improved.

Tim said he supports the CDCs but that he wants to open up the affordable housing building game to more peeps. And he wanted more home ownership. He said if developers want federal funds to build units then they HAVE TO CHARGE AFFORDABLE RENTS FOR THE UNITS. Made sense to me. I told him it would be great if all of his department’s ideas, the city’s housing master plan, was made available to folks IN HARD COPY at neighborhood centers, the YMCA and YWCA, churches, barber shops, places where Worcester people could read it, digest it, discuss it. I said the city’s huge report, a tome or door stop if ever there was one, was hard to understand. Tim agreed, said there should be a way to get thus important information out into the community.

Then I said, I think if you want to make three decker home ownership a reality for more people, the city needs to set aside A HELL OF A LOT MORE MONEY FOR DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE, REHAB ASSISTANCE. I told him I was looking at three deckers in the inner city – all I could afford – and the buildings I saw were in horrible shape, often times vandalized. Cut up into teeny apts. Copper wire pulled out. Gutted bathrooms. How was a regular working person gonna fix those disasters? The city needs to put aside so much more money for rehab. Our great old buildings have been si abused.

I also told him all the city’s talk about homeownership for all seemed very pie in the sky. Very unrealistic. I told Tim at the last city economic development subcommittee meeting, the city sounded like President George W. Bush right before he created the housing bubble.

Tim listened to my concerns. Seemed to actually care about people making good housing decisions. He said some folks would be renters and that the city has to offer them good housing choices, too.

I believe Tim M. us a good person. He said he wasn’t anti CDC and I believed him. He is such a likeable person it was hard not to believe him, doubt his good intentions. The sun shone brightly on the folks at the WCG CDC celebration yesterday. It shone brightly on Tim Mcgourthy.

And don’t forget, re: Worcester’s proposed housing policy …

the Worcester City Council meets tomorrow at 7 p.m., City Hall, 3rd floor, Main Street. You can “testify” on pertinent city issues before the council meeting begins in earnest at 7 p.m. Just get there at 6:45/6:30 p.m and put your name on “the list.” I hope folks get up and speak up for the kind of affordable housing Worcester needs! And how the CDCs fill the housing gap. Three or four developers (one who lives in Wayland!!!) should not be the only people bending the ears of city councilors or City Manager Mike O’Brien. O’Brien has been treating the CDCs like dirt for months now with a kind of passive aggressiveness that is unprofessional and disheartening. He has, however, been empowering real estate moguls like Artie Mooradian, a good egg but whose apartments are EXPENSIVE for so many families in our city!!!! WE ALL NEED TO SPEAK UP AND HAVE SOME SAY IN THE PROCESS. If we don’t, families and blue collar folks will be shut out of Worcester or, even worse, the city will get tougher, meaner. Crimes like break ins and armed robberies will go up because folks will not have the $$$ to survive. Paying your rent should not leave you hungry or too poor to pay your electricity or gas bill (rent for most flats/apts in Wusta don’t include utilities/gas) or buy shoes and clothing for your kids.

also, The Worcester Common Ground CDC hosts a cookout, area walking tour in honor of their Austin Corridor project. It’s at  3 p.m. tomorrow, at the corner of Austin and Newbury streets – in the CDC’s tot lot. Be there to learn the truth about our CDCs, such as there ARE INCOME THRESHOLDS renters/prospective condo owners must meet! And see their fab grounds, units!  Click here for more info! – R. Tirella




The Austin Corridor II Project! The Worcester Common Ground CDC celebrates!


Worcester Common Ground CDC has some exciting news and an invite for you and everyone in the community:


Please join us for WCG’s ribbon cutting ceremony and cook out in celebration of our Austin Corridor II Project

Date: Tuesday, July 16

Time: 3 p.m.

Location: Worcester Common Ground Tot Lot on the corner of Austin and Newbury streets.

Food and drinks will be provided at our cook out, as well as walking tours. So please join WCG and the neighborhood in this special occasion!

RSVP to jluyando@wcg-cdc.com

Worcester Common Ground – 508.754-0908


Among the activities to fulfill our mission, Worcester Common Ground owns and manages 76 affordable rental units and has developed another 71 units of affordable housing that have been sold to first time homebuyers. We have recently completed construction of 12 units focused on individuals including persons with disabilities in an accessible, affordable new building at 1-7 Piedmont Street (now 5 Piedmont) (View Map). We have also completed another 46 units of affordable rental apartments through the restoration of an historic factory building at 9 May Street (View Map). To learn more about these most recent projects please go to our “In the Works” page. The following is information about all our completed housing projects:

Rental Units Listing – 69 Units, 5 Business, 1 Office Total
1992 – 6 Florence Street, 8 units, Details
1992 – 60 Providence Street, 6 units, Details
1994 – 7-11 Bellevue Street, 5 units, 4 business, Details
1999 – 90-94 Chatham Street, 6 units, Details
1999 – 108 Austin Street, 2 units, Details
1999 – 124-128 Canterbury Street, 10 units, Details
2002 – 17-23 Dewey Street, 12 units, Details
2003 – 98 Austin Street, 5 units, Details
2003 – 102 Austin Street, 4 units, Details
2003 – 133 Chandler Street, 5 units, 1 business, Details
2006 – 300 Pleasant Street, 6 units, 1 office, Details
2008 – 9 May Street, 46 units, Details
2010 – 5 Piedmont Street (formerly 1-7 Piedmont Street), 12 units, 1 office, Details

First-Time Home Buyer Listing – 68 Units Total
1996 – 25 King Street, 3 units, Details
1996 – 55 King Street, 3 units, Details
1997 – 97 Bellevue Street, 1 unit, Details
1997 – 99 Bellevue Street, 3 units, Details
1997 – 35 Cedar Street, 2 units, Details
1998 – 7 Newbury Street, 2 units, Details
1998 – 9 Quincy Street, 2 units, Details
1999 – 48 King Street, 3 units, Details
2000 – 139 Austin Street, 3 units, Details
2001 – 21 Preston Street, 3 units, Details
2002 – 11 Jacques Avenue, 3 units, Details
2002 – 12 West Street, 3 units, Details
2002 – 19 Bancroft Street, 3 units, Details
2003 – 99 Chatham Street, 1 unit, Details
2003 – 30 Bancroft Street, 3 units, Details
2003 – 22 Bluff Street, 3 units, Details
2004 – 130 Austin Street, 3 units, Details
2004 – 132 Austin Street, 3 units, Details
2004 – 134 Austin Street, 3 units, Details
2005 – 141 Austin Street, 3 units, Details
2005 – 143 Austin Street, 3 units, Details
2005 – 147 Austin Street, 3 units, Details
2005 – 26 Bancroft Street, 3 units, Details
2005 – 17 Preston Street, 3 units, Details
2012 – 161 Austin Street, 3 units