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Craig Blais of the WBDC and Tim McGourthy, formerly of the City of Worcester (Encore Episode)

Tim McGourthy (left) and Craig Blais (right)
Program: 
Date: 
Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 10:00pm

In an encore episode, Steve Jones-D'Agostino, chief pilot of Best Rate of Climb, interviews Tim McGourthy (shown, left), former chief development officer of the City of Worcester, and Craig Blais (shown, right), executive director of the Worcester Business Development Corp. They talk about the proposed Theater District for downtown Worcester. This episode aired originally on March 31, 2013.

(This February 3, Tim McGourthy left City Hall to become executive director of the Worcester Regional Regional Bureau, replacing Roberta Schaefer, who has retired.)

In January 2013, there was a packed house at the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester, for a public hearing on a draft plan by the WBDC and the City of Worcester for a Theater District in downtown Worcester. Despite certain news-media obsession with it, the draft plan did not call for an indoor skating rink on part of the Salem Street parking lot that serves the main branch of Worcester Public Library.

However, the draft plan for the Theater District did call for a "building envelope" there, to contain some sort of public-purpose building or buildings, to, along with other attractions such as food trucks, draw more pedestrian traffic to the area. And, if the market demand, infrastructure capacity and development financing are there, the "building envelope" space could contain an indoor skating rink. In addition, the draft plan included a parking garage on the parking lot along Portland Street that had been used for Telegram & Gazette parking and which, along with the former T&G buildings, the WBDC now owns. That parking lot is only one block away from the library.

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