The economic development engine is churning in Pawtucket.
The Providence-based Rhode Island Monthly, an acclaimed glossy monthly magazine about life in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, will shortly relocate to the city, joining Pawtucket-based Providence Media, the publishers of Eastside Monthly, Providence Monthly, SO Rhode Island, The Bay Magazine, Hey Rhody and Motif Magazine, the state’s alternative arts and entertainment magazine.
Rhode Island Monthly has just signed a lease to relocate next March to Lorraine Mills, 560 Mineral Springs Ave., bringing 25 employees to a portion of space, about 8,000 to 9,000 s/f, previously occupied by Colonial Mills. The 325,000 s/f mill is home to more than 140 small businesses, including sculptors, artists and artisans, silk screeners, graphic, interior, website and fashion designers, and light manufacturers, employing more than 200 people. Soon, the mill will also become home to 170 loft live/work residences.
Just a short drive from Lorraine Mills, local developer Ken Zuckerman is poised to begin construction on a $21 million project consisting of 180 new market rate residential units to be developed off Freight St. The site is midway between the South Attleboro MBTA station and the Pawtucket/Central Falls MBTA Station coming in 2022 and is expected to attract commuters to Boston seeking high-quality housing at a fraction of Boston rents. The project, incorporating greenspace and public art, is located on a 5.75-acre parcel that was largely underutilized. Strongly supporting this project, the city council just approved a 20-year tax stabilization agreement.
Since it opened its doors in March 2017, the Pawtucket-based Isle Brewers Guild, a craft brew collaborative, is now among the largest in the nation, producing about 60,000 plus barrels of beer. The state’s other 28 craft brewers are just producing a total of 40,000 barrels of beer.
While now considered the largest craft brewery in the state, this year Isle Brewers Guild has made the top ten list of craft beer producers in New England, also being recognized as No. 74, on the national listing. In 2019, the Guild, housed in a 130,000 s/f mill, has brought over 80,000 visitors into the city’s historic downtown. Compare this to the 52,000 visitors attracted last year and 40,000 the year before.
The continued growth of Isle Brewers Guild adds to Pawtucket’s reputation as the unofficial craft capital of R.I., with three other breweries and two distilleries within our borders.
Joining Pawtucket’s thriving arts community, the prestigious Providence-based Art League Rhode Island is relocating to a sprawling historic mill, Hope Artiste Village on Main St. in Pawtucket, to open an art gallery, a fine art school, art supply store, and arts-outreach programming.
Pawtucket is the perfect place for you to bring your business with its location off I-95, four opportunity zones, tax stabilization programs, the city’s new commuter rail station opening in 2022, affordable real estate, and a very accessible city government.
Come to Pawtucket. Join the revolution.
For information about economic development opportunities in the city of Pawtucket, contact commerce director Jeanne Boyle at [email protected].
Donald Grebien is mayor of the city of Pawtucket.