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.
The nonprofit health agency was given approval on Monday night by the Redevelopment Authority to operate out of 6 West Main St., a building owned by the city and formerly used by the School Department. It received approval from the Board of Health in June.
A proposed model railroad museum is moving into Phase 2 of planning with the approval of the Redevelopment Authority.
The estimated $8.5 million museum is the brainchild of museum visionary Thomas Krens and would entail some 31,000 square feet of space on the north side of Western Gateway Heritage State Park, which is overseen by the authority.
The Redevelopment Authority has finally settled a lawsuit with Freight Yard Pub.
Berkshire Bank has agreed to loan the authority $160,000 to make good a settlement agreed to last year with Bay State Hospitality Group LLC, the operating name of the restaurant in Western Gateway Heritage State Park.