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Central Mass in figures

Central Mass in figures

A house for sale in Worcester this summer.

3,100

3,100 single-family homes were sold in Massachusetts last month, the largest year-over-year increase in sales since June 2021. Housing market analysts at The Warren Group said April’s sales volume represented a 6.8% increase over the 2,902 sales recorded in April 2023 and only the third time in almost three years that home sales increased compared to the same month of the previous year. Cassidy Norton of The Warren Group called April sales “a positive sign for both buyers and sellers.” The median sales price of a single-family home increased 9.9% compared to April 2023 to reach $610,000 last month.

Wormtown Brewery on Shrewsbury Street on Friday.

5/22

May 22 was the last planned day of brewing at the Shrewsbury Street location in Wormtown. The sale of the company to Jack’s Abby is expected to be finalized this summer. The last batch brewed was one of the brewery’s newest brews, “Be Fearless,” a double IPA inspired by Wormtown’s original “Be Hoppy.” The taproom on Shrewsbury Street will remain open, but production will move to Jack Abby’s Framingham location this summer. The first beer was officially served on March 17, 2010 at the former Peppercorn’s Ice Cream Factory. The brewery would operate in that small space until 2015 before moving to Shrewsbury Street.

In a file photo, Leah Bradley, executive director of CMHA, speaks with T&G about the deepening housing crisis in Massachusetts.

0.05%

Leah Bradley, executive director of the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance, recently pressed state lawmakers to find solutions to the high costs and low availability of housing in Massachusetts. “In Worcester we have a 0.05% vacancy rate,” Bradley said, explaining that a healthy vacancy rate is between 5% and 7%. She compared the search for a place to live to “musical chairs,” of which someone inevitably runs out “and those tend to be the most vulnerable populations.” A researcher at the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research found that the long decline in the lack of affordable housing in Massachusetts is due to the 1991 recession.

Sears closed its store at the Solomon Pond shopping center in Marlborough three years ago.

90,000

With retail facing several economic pressures, Marlborough City Council President Mike Ossing is proposing a zoning change for the area around Solomon Pond Shopping Center that would allow for consideration of alternative uses, including multi-family housing. The 900,000-square-foot shopping center is bankrupt. The shopping center, opened in 1996, was owned by Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group. But according to Meredith Harris of the Marlborough Economic Development Corp., the mall went into receivership and has been operated by its creditors for the past few years. The mall’s receiver has not been identified.

The Stop & Shop grocery store sign is shown in this file photo.

8

Stop & Shop’s parent company, Dutch Ahold Delhaize, said at its investor meeting last week that it will close underperforming stores, without saying how many or which. Since 2018, Stop & Shop remodeled 190 stores, and remodeled stores outnumbered those that weren’t updated. Ahold Delhaize operates more than 7,700 grocery stores in the eastern United States, as well as several European countries, and employs more than 400,000 people. In addition to Stop & Shop, its U.S. brands include Food Lion, the Giant Company, Giant Food and Hannaford. There are 125 Stop & Shop locations in Massachusetts, eight of them located in Worcester County, including three in Worcester.