Mayor’s message: Join Pawtucket’s evolution - by Donald Grebien

September 08, 2017 - Rhode Island
Donald Grebien,
Mayor of Pawtucket

Our great city is truly evolving. Pawtucket’s economic progress and quality of life is improving, and our best days are truly ahead of us as more and more residents and businesses “Join the Evolution.” 

Pawtucket, the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, is now poised to undergo its 21st century evolution into the Ocean State’s premier arts and cultural destination, an ideal community to live, work, play, start a business, and raise a family.

Pawtucket’s the place to be

Pawtucket is reinvesting in its critical infrastructure, such as roads, bike paths, parks, and schools – setting the stage for future growth and tourism. The city’s waterfront has tremendous potential for quality development and increased public access. Master plans have been developed for riverfront parcels on Division St. and the Tidewater site. 

After a $2 million revitalization, the pier on the Seekonk River, called Festival Pier, now has updated lighting, benches, an improved boat ramp and beautiful open space along the city’s waterfront. 

Exciting things are happening in our city especially within the downtown Growth Center District. You can feel the energy.

With a number of exciting public and private investments either happening or in the pipeline, now is Pawtucket’s time to align these efforts and set the stage for those projects to catalyze others. A sampling of projects like the commuter rail station scheduled to open by 2020 and hopefully, the Paw Sox’s AAA Ball Park at Slater Mill, a bike path, and the new Isle Brewers Guild crafting beer for six breweries including Narragansett Beer will transform our historic downtown as a destination we all know it can be. 

Pawtucket based national company headquarters, like Hasbro, Collette Tours, Pet Food Experts, Teknor Apex, Narragansett Insurance, Rand-Whitney and many others, have chosen to invest in our community and join the evolution because they see its value and potential. The city continues to see private businesses invest in Pawtucket. 

Pawtucket: Rhode Island’s creative community

Our mills that once felt the sting of offshoring are now home to hundreds of small businesses, creative sector companies, manufacturers, and even transformed into residential lofts. Five new loft developments are currently underway. 

Visitors can experience art galleries across the city, attend performances at the Gamm Theatre, Mixed Magic Theatre and Community Players, and hear live music at Machines with Magnets, the Met and other venues. This month, the City kicks off its 19th Annual Pawtucket Arts Festival, celebrating a month of arts and music. We are also launching our first restaurant week, with over 30 restaurants participating, to promote the great ethnic diversity of eating establishments in the city. 

The city is now home to three standalone breweries: Foolproof, Crooked Current, and Bucket Brewery. And the Isle Brewer’s Guild, a craft beer cooperative, launched their brewing operation this spring. Pawtucket is the craft brew capital of our state creating jobs and bringing tourists into the city. 

Yes, our best days are ahead of us…“Join the Evolution.” 

Donald Grebien is mayor of the City of Pawtucket, R.I.

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