Officials with the model railroad museum planned for Western Gateway Heritage State Park have signed agreements with Skanska USA and the Gilbane Building Co. to construct the 83,000 square foot building.
A financially shaky Redevelopment Authority has agreed to reduce the rent for the Freight Yard Pub to keep funds flowing to manage its debt.
The restaurant had began witholding rent this past spring until the authority addressed what it claimed were poor conditions in Western Gateway Heritage State Park.
Internationally known architect Frank Gehry and architects from his office will join former Gov. William Weld, Mayor Richard Alcombright and former Guggenheim Director Thomas Krens on Friday to tour the 10-acre site for the new Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum.
The Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday unanimously approved expanding the boundaries of the 1981 Urban Renewal Plan by at least a third and extending its life for an extra four years.
The amendment, which also must be approved by the Planning Board, City Council and the state, grew out of a study of the original plan by BCS Group of Worcester. The review was funded through the city's Community Compact with the state.
The proposed model railroad has taken out an option to purchase Western Gateway Heritage State Park and the former Sons of Italy property for $1.2 million.
The Redevelopment Authority on Thursday voted to enter into the agreement with the Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum being developed by museum maestro Thomas Krens.
Officials with for-profit museum looked south to the former Sons property purchased by the Redevelopment Authority several years ago to ensure parking for the park. An update last month laid out the museum plans, which still includes a "museum of time" in Building 4, the current Hoosac Tunnel museum, a distillery and related retail establishments.
Thomas Kren's Extreme Model Railroad and Architectural Museum was planned to go into the long Building 4 at Western Gateway Heritage State Park. But since the initial press conference announcing the project nearly 15 months ago, the concept has grown beyond the tight confines of the existing historic park.