Long-Vacant Building in Worcester’s Grid District Transforms into Luxury Apartments, Leasing 8 New 600-SF Units


Eight newly renovated one-bedroom, one-bath apartments will open to new tenants next month in what was once a long-empty building steps from City Hall and Worcester Common, the latest in a series of transformations that fueled the revival of the center.

The red brick facade of 517 Main St. sits between the Great Wall Chinese restaurant and the tall corner building at the intersection of Franklin and Main streets. Its interior has undergone major changes under Grid Management, which is leasing the new units.

Property manager Scott Johnson called the building “just a shell” when the property was purchased by the management group. It rises five stories high with a commercial space at street level. Now, it’s a “luxury apartment building” with rents priced at $1,750 a month.


“We frame it, we build it, and it’s all brand new,” said Johnson, who oversees the management group’s Worcester portfolio that consists of eight buildings with 549 total units.

The ground level previously housed a MetroPCS store, which was moved to retail space in the neighboring building, Johnson said. The upper levels sat empty and unused for “quite a while,” according to Johnson, though he couldn’t give an exact amount of time. Some of the upper floors also had boarded-up windows in archived Google Street View images.

Currently, on each floor there are two approximately 600-square-foot units, one facing the street front and one facing the rear of the building, all equipped with amenities that include an in-unit washer and dryer and a “smart mirror.” . ” in the bathroom of each unit.

The three-button touchscreen mirror is programmable according to Johnson, who used it to adjust bathroom lighting.

Tenants and guests to the walk-up apartments enter through a door adjacent to the store space on the ground floor and a narrow foyer, decorated with a geometric pattern design on the wall and a modern-looking chandelier above. The space features the building’s mailboxes and leads directly to the stairs and units beginning on the second floor of the hallway.

Entering each unit through a smart-lock door, there is a living space with two newly installed tall windows that bring in natural light and ceilings that soar 14 feet, according to Johnson.

The single bedroom in each unit also features tall windows and closet space, while the washer and dryer are located in a closet space outside the units stacked on top of each other.

Each unit’s kitchen features a dishwasher, stove, microwave and refrigerator along with multiple cupboards and cabinets, while a heating and cooling system is also unique to each apartment, Johnson said.

Residents can park a vehicle in an open-air lot on Main Street, which is shared with the building next door, he added. Parking fee starts at $135 outside of monthly rent.

The water bill is included in the rent, Johnson noted, but he said tenants pay for gas and electric utilities separately.

“You’re right downtown, walking distance to everything,” said Johnson, who expects the units to sell out “pretty quickly,” despite their size, because of the building’s prime location in the heart of downtown Worcester and walking distance to the Canal District. .

“We’ve already gotten a handful of applications and rented one of the apartments,” Johnson added. “Especially for a new and modern product like this, it will be in high demand.”

The lease term and building occupancy begin Aug. 1, according to Johnson. The ground-floor retail space still remains under development and will be open for lease without a current tenant established for the space, he added.

Residential tenants will have access to additional services from Grid Management, such as its fitness center located off the lobby at the group’s nearby location at 50 Franklin Street and its dog park, which is adjacent to this building, Johnson said.

Johnson said the units are pet-friendly, but smoking is prohibited in the building.

Those interested in applying to lease one of the units can find more information on the Grid Management website.

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