SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Chicago-based developer has been selected to convert three downtown Springfield properties into mixed-use.
The three properties the city wants to see reworked, include the iconic clocktower building at 113-117 State Street, the historic colonial building at 1139-1155 Main Street, and 11-21 Stockbridge Street which are more than 130,000 gross square feet in the downtown.
These buildings, acquired in 2021 as part of a bank foreclosure sale by Springfield Redevelopment Authority (SRA), do have some occupants. They are identified as reuse parcels on Main Street in the SRA’s Court Square Urban Renewal Plan.
The SRA recognizes the importance of continuing downtown’s momentum by being proactive in implementing the recommended actions associated with its urban renewal plan, so that downtown can realize its full development potential. To revitalize downtown, the SRA is efforting the elimination of slum and blight and to create an urban environment that promotes growth, and attracts broader private and public investment.
On Wednesday, Springfield Mayor Sarno, CDO Sheehan, and SRA announced McCaffery Interests Inc. as the preferred developer for these downtown properties. They will advance in creating mixed-use development with market-rate housing and economic development for ground-level retail. The SRA received five request for proposal applications during the process.
McCaffery Interests Inc. is a commercial real estate development company with 30 years of experience that has developed mixed-use locations at Lincoln Common in Chicago and the Strip District Terminal and Cork Factory in Pittsburgh.
Mayor Sarno states, “This is prime real estate located in the heart of our downtown with access to a plethora of amenities and attractions, including MGM Springfield, the MassMutual Center and numerous restaurants and hotels, to support and complement a wide variety of potential adaptive re-use projects that would be conducive to the neighborhood. My administration wants to make sure that any development opportunities that advance meet the goal and vision of our Urban Renewal Plan, the Main Street and Convention District Master Development Plan, and Court Square Urban Renewal Plan, all of which are conducive and beneficial to the needs of our downtown, South End and Armoury Quadrangle neighborhoods.”
“I want to thank and congratulate McCaffery Interest Inc. for putting together such a comprehensive and highly advantageous plan to not only preserve the historical significance of these properties but also sharing their vision for adaptive re-use of the properties with mixed-use housing and commercial components. My administration’s goal and vision is to create more synergy and involvement in our downtown with MGM Springfield to create street and sidewalk activation not only to the MassMutual Center but just as important, a promenade ‘avenue’ into our South End business district to experience the Italian-American delicacies day and night,” Mayor Sarno added. “In doing so, we will be attracting more businesses, more residents, more visitors and more of that good four-letter word – JOBS!”
Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan stated, “Today’s announcement comes on the heels of MGM’s 5-year anniversary. Since MGM’s $1 billion investment, downtown Springfield has seen complementary development activity that strengthens the City’s central business district and is creating the underpinnings for new development opportunities to emerge. From Union Station, to a reinvigorated Tower Square, to the new Marriott hotel, to the Big Y Express Fresh Market, to the $80 million investment being made in the MassMutual Center, to having a real downtown dining district, to the arts and cultural corridor enhancements, to the increasing development of new housing including the 31 Elm Street Court Square project, the Willys-Overland building and SilverBrick. Downtown Springfield continues to grow stronger with each development initiative. The McCaffery project is intended to set the stage for expanding redevelopment opportunities from Harrison Avenue to Union Street. Development that is focused on adaptive reuse, historic preservation and ground floor activation. McCaffery has the experience, ingenuity and partnerships to bring forward a transformational development project that will elevate the excitement and buzz already occurring around downtown Springfield.”
Mayor Sarno continued, “My administration’s economic development team has put forward a downtown development plan for the Main Street Convention Center District which has already advanced the development of new housing, more pedestrian connectivity, improved and activated public open space and enhanced public infrastructure that is focused on safety and cleanliness. This particular district is fundamentally important to the City, as it is home to two of the City’s largest anchors, the MassMutual Center and MGM Springfield, as well as many historic structures and spaces that define Springfield’s urban character. The development vision put forward by McCaffery, as a nationally known and highly experienced developer, is seamlessly aligned with the goals and objectives of my administration’s plan.”
“McCaffery Interests is honored to join with Mayor Sarno and the Springfield Redevelopment Authority to execute a shared vision for the redevelopment of these important buildings,” said Ed Woodbury, President of McCaffery Interests Inc. “McCaffery’s experience in adaptively reusing historic structures – converting them into vibrant mixed-use development will have a positive, catalytic impact on Springfield’s downtown.”
“The SRA Commission’s designation of McCaffery as the preferred developer for its Main Street portfolio is a milestone in the process of redeveloping these buildings. Unfortunately, the SRA owns them because they fell victim to an unscrupulous real estate speculator, who depressed their redevelopment potential and activation for far too long. The Commission’s ongoing work with the City and the developer over the weeks and months ahead will be focused on establishing a Land Disposition Agreement that will fully define the role of each party in bringing forward the much needed housing and reactivation of critical portions of Main Street that McCaffery’s adaptive reuse project concept clearly articulates. I also want to thank the incredible work done by the entire City/SRA team in getting us to this important milestone,” stated SRA Chairman, Armando Feliciano.
“The SRA’s goal in acquiring these buildings was always to attract an economically viable and responsible developer who could reposition them in a responsive manner to the City’s underlying plans. The SRA’s selection of a national development firm, with the depth of development experience that McCaffery has, exceeds any expectation that the Authority had in 2021 when it acquired these properties. I am confident when these properties are ultimately transferred to McCaffery, the SRA’s goals and objectives will be fully realized and that the properties will be restored and reactivated in a deliberate and thoughtful manner, returning them finally to their rightful grandeur,” said, SRA Executive Director, Amanda Pham.
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