The comprehensive revitalization of the Kilby/Gardner/Hammond neighborhood in Worcester, MA took a couple of decades. But today the neighborhood has clearly turned a corner thanks to DHK’s Master Plan and the tireless efforts of Main South CDC. DHK designed over 120 new and rehabilitated affordable housing units that have already been delivered and 48 more that are scheduled to start construction next year. A new Boys and Girls Club and an athletic track facility for Clark University were built by Main South’s two institutional partners, once the demolition of vacant industrial properties and brown field remediation work created clean sites for these facilities. This effort included the partial closure of two streets and the relocation of three turn of the century triple-decker apartment buildings that were lifted off their foundations and transported to empty sites where they were set on new foundations and rehabilitated completely.
The Main South neighborhood was once a prosperous community that encompassed retail and institutional uses at the top of the sloping topography along Main Street and industrial uses at the bottom along the railroad corridor. The land in between these arteries was predominantly residential, with two and three family buildings. Over time the industrial economy and the jobs it provided disappeared. As the neighborhood declined empty lots appeared and vacant buildings were boarded up.
Today property values are up, crime is down and beautiful homes have filled in the empty lots. DHK developed several different types of buildings for the various infill sites, to suit the specific physical conditions of the properties, some of which have steep slopes. The typologies include single-family attached row houses, detached and semi-detached two-family buildings, and three-family structures. A majority of the dwellings were designed for rental occupancy, but twenty units were designed for home-ownership.