Fans flocking to Polar Park will enjoy new improvements to Canal District this summer

WORCESTER — Polar Park has revitalized the city of Worcester and the historic Canal District.

Even before the relocation of the Boston Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to Worcester was made official on Aug. 17, 2018, team officials, government leaders, utilities, construction companies, local businesses and residents already were working in unison to help this project come to fruition.

In fact, with the leadership from the Worcester Redevelopment Authority, all entities worked in relative harmony to help get the ballpark built on schedule. The WooSox home became a reality when Polar Park officially opened in April 2021.

“The vision of the ballpark is to create a great civic space where people come and create memories, and create opportunities,” City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said after the team’s inaugural season was complete.“We have raised Worcester’s visibility and brand. (Polar Park) has definitely delivered beyond expectations on all those things.”

While upgrades and improvements inside the state-of-the-art ballpark will continue for the 2022 season and beyond, real estate continues to boom around Polar Park. There will be significant changes to the city’s skyline around the ballpark, and most projects are underway.

Parking garage

Let’s start with the most immediate impact for WooSox fans — parking. The Green Island Boulevard parking garage will be fully operational in time for Opening Day on April 12. The garage directly across from Polar Park will have 300 parking spots.

Cove building

The building that once housed the Sir Morgan’s Cove nightclub, behind the center field wall on Summit Street is in the midst of demolition. It’s slated to become residential units and a parking garage. The project is hoping to break ground in August, with a completion date in the fall of 2024.

Table Talk Pies

Table Talk Pies opened its headquarters in Kelley Square in 1924, but recently baked its last pie on the property. Since its new location on Gardner Street is operational, the company has begun to remove equipment from the old building. Construction on the proposed Table Talk Lofts is set to begin in the fall.

Building behind berm

The proposed building behind the left field berm inside Polar Park is looking for an anchor tenant before construction begins, which could start as early as August. Once completed, WooSox fans will no longer be able to see Union Station from inside the ballpark.

Compass Tavern

The Compass Tavern was a popular place before, during and after WooSox games last summer. Worcester Railers owner Cliff Rucker recently purchased the restaurant, renovated it and renamed it The District Wood Fired Kitchen. It is set to open April 12, the same day as the WooSox’ home opener. Rucker also owns the popular Off the Rails on Commercial Street, which also is adding an outdoor music venue for concerts.