Worcester Business Journal

January 20, 2020

Issue link: https://nebusinessmedia.uberflip.com/i/1201431

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wbjournal.com | January 20, 2020 | Worcester Business Journal 3 Worcester Business Journal (ISSN#1063-6595) is published bi-weekly, 24x per year, including 4 special issues in May, September, October, and December by New England Business Media. 172 Shrewsbury St., Worcester, MA 01604. Periodicals postage paid at Worcester, MA. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. Postmaster: Please send address changes to: Worcester Business Journal, PO Box 330, Congers, NY 10920-9894. Subscriptions: Annual subscriptions are available for $54.95. For more information, please email wbjournal@ cambeywest.com or contact our circulation department at 845-267-3008. Fax: 845.267.3478 Advertising: For advertising information, please call Mark Murray at 508-755-8004 ext. 227. Fax: 508-755-8860. Worcester Business Journal accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or materials and in general does not return them to the sender. Worcester Business Journal 172 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester, MA 01604 508-755-8004 tel. • 508-755-8860 fax www.wbjournal.com A division of: Worcester Business Journal WBJ Editor, Brad Kane, bkane@wbjournal.com News Editor, Grant Welker, gwelker@wbjournal.com (Higher education, health care) Staff Writer Thomas Grillo, tgrillo@wbjournal.com (Real estate, manufacturing) Contributors Susan Shalhoub, Livia Gershon, Sarah Connell Lead Researcher, Timothy Doyle, tdoyle@nebusinessmedia.com Research Assistant, Heide Martin, hmartin@nebusinessmedia.com Production Director, Kira Beaudoin, kbeaudoin@wbjournal.com Art Director, Mitchell Hayes, mhayes@wbjournal.com Senior Accounts Manager Matt Majikas, mmajikas@wbjournal.com Senior Accounts Manager Christine Juetten, cjuetten@wbjournal.com Senior Special Accounts Manager Mary Lynn Bosiak, mlbosiak@wbjournal.com Marketing & Events Manager Kris Prosser, kprosser@wbjournal.com Distribution and Database Coordinator A Guide to STUFF, a publication of New England Business Media Patty Harris, pharris@nebusinessmedia.com COO, Mary Rogers, mrogers@nebusinessmedia.com Accounting Manager, Sabrina Mondor, smondor@nebusinessmedia.com Accounting Assistant, Rae Rogers, rrogers@nebusinessmedia.com Collections Manager, Raki Zwiebel, rzwiebel@nebusinessmedia.com Human Resources, Jill Coran, jcoran@nebusinessmedia.com Director of Audience Development, Valerie Clark, vclark@nebusinessmedia.com Publisher, CEO, Peter Stanton pstanton@nebusinessmedia.com Associate Publisher, Mark Murray mmurray@wbjournal.com President, Joseph Zwiebel jzwiebel@nebusinessmedia.com Y ou can't pay any bills with buzz. As much as hype can build up momentum, you can't take it to the bank. Eventually, the sizzle needs the steak. I'm extremely wary of buzz, having seen its hollow effects firsthand. When I lived in Southwest Florida in 2006, I bought a one-bedroom condo for $175,000 in a market real estate agents swore would never stop increasing. Even aer the bot- tom started to fall out, agents in the region said if we could only get the hype back up, prices would follow. I eventually had to let my condo go into foreclosure, and the next buyer paid $35,000 for it. In June 2018, WBJ News Editor Grant Welker did a deep dive into the economic indicators surrounding Worcester's so- called renaissance, attempting to deter- mine whether the buzz around Central Mass. was yielding economic growth. In what remains one of the proudest stories I have ever been a part of, Welker found the hype had yet to achieve the desired results. In his follow-up last year, the numbers showed the region was making progress but hasn't gotten all the way there yet. e buzz is undeniable around the planned arrival of the Worcester Red Sox in 2021. Every press release we get announcing a new development project in Worcester seems to mention the WooSox as a rallying cry. e buzz, though, has yet to yield major economic impact. e planned revitalization of the Greendale Mall site (see Staff Writer omas Grillo's on Page 10) or the announced two-story restaurant in the Mercantile Center are certainly good for the city, but plans need to be realized before actual residents and visitors and business start spending mon- ey on food and retail. As the WooSox pub- lic costs keep escalating (see Page 4), keep in mind the buzz remains just a promise of economic development. Similarly, in our main focus of this edition, the Central Mass. real estate mar- ket has benefitted from hype. Increasing demand for a limited supply of homes has spiked the price of residential real estate (see Grillo's story on Page 12). is hype has yielded actual substance, too, where homeowners selling their properties and the agents helping them can take the in- creased value of the homes to the bank. I N T H I S I S S U E Buzz is a good thing. It draws attention you might otherwise never have gotten. But hype only takes you so far. Projects must be seen to fruition before the impact truly is realized. - Brad Kane, editor Worcester's buzz has to turn into substance Bruce Mathieu Senior Vice President Business Development Officer 978.353.1331 Intelligent BUSINESS Solutions Start here! Info: ICCreditUnion.org or businessbanking@iccreditunion.com Federally Insured by NCUA Like, Friend or Follow Us EXPANSION - with competitive rates for commercial investment and owner-occupied real estate, we can help you realize your expansion or growth plans. NEWS & ANALYSIS DEPARTMENTS 5 Briefs 8 Focus on Real estate 14 The Lists: Top real estate agents and firms 17 Starting Up, by Peter S. Cohan 18 Know How 19 Movers & Shakers 21 Opinion 22 Shop Talk: Katie Benison-Camell, MBB Foundation 6 Admissions upheaval Central Mass. colleges face a rise in applications and technology, as selectivity and yield decline. 17 10 Things I know about … Healthcare and human services integration Having carried Open Sky Community Services through a merger, CEO Ken Bates offers reasons why further consolidation in health care is necessary. W

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