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(NECN: Kristen Carosa) - The sign on the front door of Worcester's former courthouse may be changing if a $1-deal between the city and state moves forward.
“It is the right price can't argue with that and more importantly gives us the leverage to get something that fits more of our vision of the city,” said City Councilor Rick Rushton.
The state has authorized the sale of the vacant courthouse to the city. If the sale moves forward, the city would be responsible for marketing the property to potential buyers.
“The state has realized we have a better sense of what we need and what we want.”
“It might take us a few years to get where we want to be but this is an important step,” said Tim Murray.
Former Lt. Governor Murray helped work out the plan with city and state leaders. He says the state has been paying up to 400-thousand dollars a year to maintain the building.
Once the city takes it over the state would no longer be responsible for those fees. But the state would then step in and work with the city to pay for clean-up and demolition of the property.
“This will expedite development process and reduce some of the cost that will make it more attractive to private developers.”
“It's a beautiful old courthouse love to see it used for something but what is the big question,” Edward Hack said.
It’s been a longstanding question ever since the courthouse became vacant.
Both Murray and Rushton say new changes to that section of the city make it a valuable site for potential developers.
“What the courthouse property allows us to do is have a real conversation about how do we link up the energy taking place at Highland Street, WPI.”
“There’s going to be a demand for retail and office space and stuff like that it’s in a prime location.”