You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

An 'iconic spot': Somerville firm looking to redevelop Southbridge Street factory

Worcester Telegram logo Worcester Telegram 8/17/2021 Steven H. Foskett Jr., Telegram & Gazette
a group of people walking in front of a building: The former Queensbury Mills at 300 Southbridge St., Worcester, recently housed a grassroots community center known as The Bridge. © Rick Cinclair/Telegram & Gazette The former Queensbury Mills at 300 Southbridge St., Worcester, recently housed a grassroots community center known as The Bridge.

WORCESTER — A Somerville-based developer is asking the city to amend the zoning map to allow the redevelopment of a former factory on Southbridge Street. 

Dalfior Development Inc., wants the city to make 300 Southbridge St., the former Queensbury Mills, part of an adaptive reuse overlay district.

According to Planning Board documents, Dalfior has a purchase and sales agreement with the current owner, the Saul Talbert Trust. 

An adaptive overlay reuse district is intended to encourage the reuse of functionally obsolete buildings by providing developers more flexibility in developing those properties. 

Such a district maintains the existing zoning in the area, but it also allows certain other uses, and it relaxes dimensional and parking requirements.

Last year, the city established an adaptive reuse overlay district nearby on Lamartine Street. 

Fernando Dalfior, president of Dalfior Development, said Tuesday he plans to fully restore the 19th century building, which was most recently serving as a grassroots community center called The Bridge, and eventually redevelop it as a mix of apartments and commercial uses. 

The Bridge housed various youth-focused small nonprofits, and organizers staged a fundraiser to try to buy the building so it could keep running programming there.

Dalfior said the issues with The Bridge were between the owner and the group, but he said he loves the building, and hates to see it deteriorating. 

He said he plans to fully restore the building to its original condition, including rebuilding dormers, repointing brick, restoring the tower, and eliminating a loading dock that was added later in the building's life. 

a group of people sitting in front of a building: The former Sargent Card Clothing Co. mill, 300 Southbridge St., Worcester. © Rick Cinclair/Telegram & Gazette The former Sargent Card Clothing Co. mill, 300 Southbridge St., Worcester.

Dalfior said he plans some landscaping, and said the Miss Worcester Diner, which sits on the property in front of the building, will not be impacted. 

Originally the Sargent Card Clothing Co., the old factory dates back to the 1860s, and was used by Queensbury Mills until the mid-20th century. 

Dalfior said it can certainly be more cost-effective for developers to just tear down old buildings like 300 Southbridge St., but he said, 300 Southbridge St. is an "iconic spot," and when the redevelopment is complete, it will add to the city's housing options, particularly for Worcester-to-Boston commuters. 

He said even considering Worcester's real estate market, it's still cheaper than the Boston area, which makes it ideal for commuters who still work there.

Dalfior, who has some smaller rentals in the city and is developing a vacant lot on Blackstone River Road, said the construction of nearby Polar Park has certainly been a factor in attracting more development, and he said proximity to commuter rail will continue to attract young professionals. 

The proposed zoning change is scheduled to get a public hearing before the Planning Board, which meets at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. 

This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: An 'iconic spot': Somerville firm looking to redevelop Southbridge Street factory

AdChoices

More from Telegram & Gazette

Worcester Telegram
Worcester Telegram
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon