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Worcester, Mass. Redevelopment Authority Leading Hunt for Parking Garage Tenant

(NECN: Katelyn Tivnan) - Built in 2008, the Union Station Parking Garage was touted as a major economic development project for Worcester, Mass., but years later, commercial space inside sits vacant.

"It's perfect with increased commuter rail and lofts coming in already a vibrant area with bars and restaurants," Director of Business Assistance Paul Morano says.

There's 8,000 square feet of commercial space inside the parking garage. Morano says a combination of a tough economy and the city's complicated process finding tenants are behind the vacancy.

A decision by the city council Tuesday is putting the property in the hands of the Worcester Redevelopment Authority. They think this will make the process easier and more attractive to potential businesses.

"Our first goal is retail and maybe office, but first goal is retail, and it could be a restaurant, bar, clothing store, anything like that," Morano says.

"We haven't made a real strong effort - I've advocated for even putting a for rent sign in the window," Worcester City Councilor George Russell says.

While the city isn't losing money now it's missing out on potential revenue. Russell also wants the city to look at where they are leasing space for programs like workforce central.

"They're spending upwards of $100,000 a year in rent, so why are we renting other buildings when we have parcels available," Russell says.

The WRA plans to post signs and reach out to potential businseses and past businesses who expressed interest in the space.

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