News & Insights
July 12, 2023
The Menkiti Group Expands Investment in Worcester, MA with Acquisition of Historic Main Street Property
WORCESTER, Mass., July 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Menkiti Group is excited to announce it has closed on the acquisition of 526 Main Street in Worcester, MA. Located in the heart of downtown Worcester just steps from City Hall and the Hanover Theatre, the firm is undertaking a complete rehabilitation of the historic structure originally constructed in 1894 for local businessman and entrepreneur Ransom F. Taylor. This strategic move further enhances The Menkiti Group’s portfolio and expands its presence in Worcester’s historic and vibrant Theatre District.
At completion, the project will feature a co-working space which will occupy the entire 2nd floor and will also include a creative maker space intended for local artisans. Additionally, several retail spaces along Main Street are currently being advertised for lease, including an exceptional corner space ideally suited for a sit-down restaurant.
“We are proud to announce the acquisition of 526 Main Street, which further enhances our mission of transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate,” said Bo Menkiti, Founder and CEO of The Menkiti Group. “This acquisition signifies our continued commitment to bringing investment and commercial density back to Worcester’s historic Theatre District.”
MassDevelopment bought 526 Main Street, previously home to a pawn shop and check-cashing business, in 2017 through its Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Equity Investment Program. After soliciting input from the City of Worcester and other stakeholders, MassDevelopment put out a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) seeking developers of the property later that year, with the agency selecting The Menkiti Group to be the preferred developer for this project. In June 2023, MassDevelopment provided three loans totaling $6,913,843 to 526 Main Street Partners LLC and 526 Main Street LL LLC, affiliates of The Menkiti Group, as well as a $250,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Collaborative Workspace Program and conveyed the property to the company.
“MassDevelopment is proud to have completed its commitment to the City of Worcester and to our first Transformative Development Initiative district,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “With our leading role, this critical revitalization project was made possible – from securing the priority building in 2017 and selecting The Menkiti Group as the preferred developer, to managing the property while the financing stack came together, to now delivering more than $7 million in loan and grant funding to support renovation and restoration. State, local, and private partners have made significant investments to help transform downtown Worcester into a more vibrant and attractive neighborhood, and we were glad to deploy our financing and real estate expertise to unlock the potential of 526 Main Street and ensure it is an important part of this progress.”
The project team at The Menkiti Group successfully attained an allocation of New Markets Tax Credits from RBC Community Development with additional financing support from US Bank and the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MassDev). In addition, the project was awarded a grant through the Collaborative Workspace Program, which is also administered by MassDev. With the assistance of historic consultant, Epsilon Associates, The Menkiti Group qualified the project to receive both Federal and State Historic Tax Credits. Following the complete rehabilitation of the structure, the building will be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“We’re grateful to our financing partners at MassDev, RBC and US Bank who are allowing this project to be brought to fruition,” said Brian Burke, Executive Vice President of Development and Finance, The Menkiti Group. “The project required a multi-layered financing structure and this team worked collaboratively from day one to make this transaction possible.”
The project’s design team is led by Providence-based ZDS Architecture & Interiors in collaboration with Building Engineering Resources (MEP/FP), Graves Engineering (Civil), and Roome and Guarracino (Structural). The Menkiti Group has partnered again with local General Contractor, R.P. Masiello, the builder responsible for the award-winning renovation of the former Worcester YWCA located directly across the street at 6 Chatham Street (Chatham Lofts).
“526 Main Street is a jewel box of a structure located at an extremely high visibility intersection in Downtown Worcester,” said Mark Rengel, Vice President of Development, The Menkiti Group. “It has played an important role in the retail landscape for more than a century, and we are excited for the building to recognize its full potential. With the addition of several high-quality retailers, the Ransom F. Taylor block will once again become an integral part of the fabric of Main Street.”
About The Menkiti Group:
Founded in 2004, The Menkiti Group is a 100% minority-owned Certified Business Enterprise headquartered in Washington, DC, with additional offices in Worcester, Massachusetts. The Menkiti Group is an integrated real estate services company focused on a double bottom line, measuring success in terms of positive social impact and financial returns. The company was founded with the mission to transform lives, careers, and communities through real estate, and they are committed to driving neighborhood impact and engaging in communities with a long-term lens. Their focuses include urban investment, residential and commercial development, residential sales, and commercial brokerage.
The company’s approach to urban neighborhood transformation and investment is centered upon partnerships with capital investors, local developers, community stakeholders, and small business owners to create thriving urban spaces that drive sustainable neighborhood impact and produce economic growth. The enterprise is dedicated to making smart investments in neighborhoods that are often on the “other side of perception,” to directly impact community vitality. Projects range from residential renovations and the development and tenanting of main street commercial properties to large-scale, mixed-use, transit-oriented development projects.
Over the past 19 years, The Menkiti Group has invested over $360MM in emerging urban neighborhoods, worked on the development of over 3.8MM SF of real estate, and has assisted over 2,000 families in purchasing their first homes. The Menkiti Group currently has over 4.9M SF in its development pipeline including catalytic projects in Washington, DC such as MLK Gateway, Bond Bread with Howard University, The Yards Parcels G1 and G2 in partnership with Brookfield, and St. Elizabeths Parcels 7, 8, and 9. For more information about The Menkiti Group, please visit menkitigroup.com or call (202) 733-5455. For leasing inquiries please contact Mike McElaney, VP of Commercial Real Estate, at (508) 713-9684.
SOURCE The Menkiti Group