Worcester Planning Board OKs Site Plans for Second Building at The Reactory

Oct 14, 2020

Worcester Telegram & Gazette – October 8, 2020

The Planning Board on Wednesday night unanimously approved the site plans for the second building to be constructed as part of the new 46-acre biomanufacturing park, known as The Reactory, off Belmont Street.

Galaxy Life Sciences, LLC, will be constructing a two-story, 95,000-square-foot building on a 6.35-acre parcel in The Reactory, which is being developed by the Worcester Business Development Corp., on the grounds of the former Worcester State Hospital.

There will also be parking for 163 vehicles.

Craig Blais, president and chief executive officer of the WBDC, described the project as a “spec building,” with the envelope of the building being constructed while Galaxy seeks tenants for it.

Blais said there continues to be tremendous interest in the biomanufacturing field and in The Reactory site.

“We’re very excited about that and that’s why we’re moving aggressively forward,” he said.

Board members said they were pleased with the overall design of the building, but a question was raised as to why more parking was being provided on site compared to the minimum requirement under the city’s zoning ordinance.

Patrick Doherty of MidPoint Engineering and Consulting said it is anticipated that those additional parking spaces will be needed because there will be multiple shifts of employees working in the building.

He said there will be times when the shifts will overlap, requiring the need for the additional parking space, as employees come and go.

Doherty said the industry standard for parking is two spaces per 1,000 square feet of building space. That would translate into about 190 parking spaces, he said

Planning board chair Albert LaValley said the project is part of what is becoming an important development for Worcester.

“Bioscience, in particular, is something that is really a big opportunity for the city to grow so I am excited to see this start going up,” he said. “I’m looking forward to this.”

In January, the Planning Board approved the site plans for the biomanufacturing park’s first building, a $60 million, 107,000-square-foot facility being developed by WuXi Biologics USA, LLC. Work is already under way on that building.

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