Photo Credits: Chelsea Creekmore/Destination Worcester

Downtown Overview

Worcester is located in the heart of Massachusetts and New England. Mercantile Center represents the most exciting mixed-use opportunity to emerge in the city’s on-going and progressive transformation. As the second largest city in the northeast, Worcester has experienced vibrant growth highlighted by an active diverse culture, multi-billion dollar public/private investment, a robust healthcare and biotechnology industry and an abundance of nationally recognized colleges and universities. Mercantile Center stands at the epicenter of the city’s growth and provides a unique opportunity for both office and retail businesses.

Mercantile Center is poised to take advantage of the many assets available in this dynamic and distinct environment:

  • A city of iconic buildings and energized leadership
  • Thriving downtown that includes office, medical, retail and residential space in the heart of the business district
  • Educated workforce drawing from more than 38,000 college students
  • Central location among Boston, Springfield, Providence and Hartford, featuring rail, bus and air service
  • State-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure
  • Diverse business economy including health care, medical research, life sciences and biotechnology, manufacturing, information technology, financial services and retail
  • 65 arts and cultural venues (museums, theater, art galleries), 60 parks, a premier 13,700 seat arena and convention center and a thriving nightlife

Mercantile Center offers its tenant partners an unparalleled level of accessibility, amenities, collaboration and identity. It stands as a gateway to success.

 

Theater District Master Plan


In December, 2013, the City of Worcester approved the Theatre District Master Plan for the area immediately surrounding the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Downtown Worcester. The goal of this Master Plan was to extend the success of the various revitalization efforts underway throughout the Downtown and build upon the strength of such institutions as Mercantile Center, Hanover Theatre, CitySquare, the Worcester Public Library, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University (MCPHSU), the DCU Center and Saint Vincent Hospital. This document has served as a blueprint for both public and private actors within the Downtown to work together to coordinate efforts to create an active, mixed-use, 18‑hour neighborhood in the heart of the downtown. Located at the eastern end of the district, Mercantile Center is poised to be a leader in this rejuvenation through activation programming of its Plaza, Atrium and focused retail leasing.

Since its implementation, significant strides have been made in implementing the Master Plan’s Action Agenda. The renovation of the former Worcester Telegram & Gazette building at 20 Franklin Street is the new home of Quinsigamond Community College’s Health Care and Workforce Development Center, and a number of Worcester-area colleges and entrepreneurs have signed on as participants in Worcester’s Idea Lab, an entrepreneurial incubator within the 20 Franklin Street facility. Additionally, there has been significant collaboration with the City, local artists, and entrepreneurs to set up Pop Up galleries and take part in various art installations within the area.

In coordination with the Master Plan, the City of Worcester has invested a significant amount of funds into streetscape improvements on Front Street and Franklin Street and the area surrounding City Hall and Worcester Common. These streetscape improvements will continue down the Main Street corridor. Mercantile Center will play an important programming role in support of these improvements. The public and private partnerships within the District have truly started to create a district identity and sense of place within Downtown Worcester.