Apex ‘blight’ vote back up for discussion tonight, Dec. 5

Apex ‘blight’ vote back up for discussion tonight, Dec. 5

PAWTUCKET – The City Council, at its meeting tonight, Dec. 5, will again consider a revised ordinance formalizing the city’s declaration that the downtown riverfront Apex property is blighted, potentially setting the wheels in motion on a city takeover of the property.

The council two weeks ago postponed a decision on officially approving an ordinance declaring the property blighted, giving the public the chance to comment on amendments to the changes.

Council President David Moran said this week he expects a vote to “hopefully move forward” in bringing progress to the property.

The amendments before the council eliminate the requirement that a recreational use be part of the project and allows for redevelopment by current owner Andrew Gates, but states that it may become necessary for the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency to acquire the Apex properties through a consensual sale or by eminent domain at some point.

Two council members who previously voted to postpone a vote on the ordinance until a new council is sworn in next month, Mark Wildenhain and Terry Mercer, have said they don’t expect to change their votes.

The full council originally voted Nov. 7 to declare the property blighted through Amendment 15 of the city’s redevelopment plan, but the accompanying ordinance maintained some outdated language from when a new baseball stadium was planned for the Apex property. Instead of passing the revised language with a new vote on Nov. 20, the council decided to hold another public hearing on the revisions.

Mercer said two weeks ago that he wants to make sure officials aren’t moving too quickly, stating some agreement with Apex owners that a declaration of blight could make the property less attractive to market.

City officials are proceeding with efforts to redevelop the Apex site as a centerpiece domino in the redevelopment of the downtown and riverfront area, despite the announced departure of the Pawtucket Red Sox. They say they’ve gone to great lengths to help Gates create something new on the property at 100 Main St., near the Slater Mill, but to no avail.

Comments

We pay enough in taxes how about a new high school complex so our future kids can have the opportunity to advance ...we could have had a hotel on the division St property. ...today still an empty lot .does the mayor think he can get hasbro at the apex site ???