Two of the biggest economic development projects in Pawtucket are moving forward and are poised to supercharge commercial development in our city.
Phase I of Tidewater Landing, the largest economic development project in our city’s history, broke ground on August 12th.
First proposed in 2019 by developer Brett Johnson and his team at Fortuitous Partners, Tidewater Landing is a $300 million project that will create a vibrant mixed-use destination along the banks of the Seekonk River including a 10,000-seat football stadium, public waterfront amenities, 435 housing units, 60,000 s/f of commercial space, and 57,000 s/f of retail and restaurant space.
The city of Pawtucket, CommerceRI, and Fortuitous Partners have created a true private-public partnership to get this project done. That included working collaboratively to address unforeseen construction cost increases caused by COVID-19 and global supply chain disruptions. Thanks to the leadership of governor Dan McKee, all parties were able to come together to find a solution to allow Phase I of the project, the building of a beautiful new football stadium to move forward. This new private-public partnership includes an additional $25 million in private equity pledged by Fortuitous Partners.
Shovels are in the ground, and if you drive over the Pawtucket River Bridge on I-95 and look south, you’ll see a completely transformed site on the banks of the Seekonk River where the new stadium will rise and be completed by 2024.
We’re thrilled to see Phase I moving forward and are continuing to work with Fortuitous Partners, CommerceRI, and the state to see the full potential of this transformational project realized over the coming years.
Another transformational project for our city is the new Pawtucket-Central Falls commuter rail station and surrounding transit-oriented development district.
Work on the station, which will include MBTA service to Providence and Boston, as well as tightly integrated RIPTA bus routes to and around downtown Pawtucket and Central Falls, is nearing completion. We are looking forward to a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the next few months.
More than just a train station, the surrounding district has already attracted tens of millions of dollars in investment including historic mill conversions into new housing units, breweries, and commercial office space. The district will also feature several new green spaces to provide recreation, shade, and improved stormwater management.
With these two key projects moving forward, Pawtucket has incredible momentum in our efforts to revitalize downtown and spark economic growth throughout our city.
Donald Grebien is the mayor of the city of Pawtucket, R.I.