Broad McCoy request seeks game-changing development

Broad McCoy request seeks game-changing development

PAWTUCKET – Similar to what a new stadium might have done for the city’s downtown area, local officials are hoping a broad request for proposals traveling well beyond the outfield grass at McCoy Stadium will translate into a wider economic jolt.

Mayor Donald Grebien said his administration pushed hard to expand a current request for proposals for reuse of McCoy to the downtown area and the site of the former Memorial Hospital.

“We wanted to ensure that we took full advantage of the opportunity of bringing new use to McCoy and the redevelopment sites in Pawtucket,” he said.

The Breeze reported on the release of the request for proposals (RFP) by the city and state last week. Companies have until April 25 at 2 p.m. to submit comprehensive proposals, but officials say there’s an opportunity for extensions.

“The city looks forward to exploring opportunities and finding the one or ones that best serve our communities and residents,” said Grebien this week. “There is so much happening in Pawtucket. This is about taking the next step. The city has had a great partnership with (CommerceRI) throughout this process and we are excited for all of the possibilities.”

Grebien said the decision to expand the request for proposals to include more sites came as a result of many meetings between CommerceRI and his administration.

“The RFP allows us to vet all of the different proposals by parties that we have met with,” he said. “There is a lot of interest in properties throughout Pawtucket. This is their chance to provide proposals that can be reviewed and evaluated by CommerceRI and the city of Pawtucket.”

Wilder Arboleda, spokesman for Grebien, said that while companies have the option to expand their proposal to multiple sites, it’s not a requirement. In theory, he said, a company or group of companies could come in with a bid to develop both a new sports complex and medical facility, filling the needs left by both the pending departure of the Pawtucket Red Sox at McCoy and the previous closing of Memorial Hospital. The developer doesn’t have to include all sites in its proposal, said Arboleda.

“Many players have already expressed interest and have done walk-throughs,” said Grebien. “We feel confident that this will allow enough time for proposals to be submitted. The option for an extension is there as well if necessary. We look forward to identifying community and economic development opportunities for our city.”

It wasn’t clear this week whether the available sites include 45 Division St. next to the Pawtucket River Bridge on the city’s riverfront. Plans by the Peregrine Group for a mixed-use development there have stalled.

The state’s request for proposals seeks a tenant for McCoy “with a strong preference for a professional sports tenant.” Respondents are encouraged to form partnerships to provide more than one form of entertainment.

If a bidder proves successful, it could give the city the downtown bookend development it craves, tying the McCoy and Memorial areas to the area of a new train station off Main Street, where The Guild brewery and numerous housing redevelopments have gotten off the ground and the Transit Oriented Development district, or TOD, is being formed.

Between those two sections, other projects are percolating, including:

• The continued transformation of the mill at 65 Blackstone Ave., where Rhode Island Spirits recently opened and city-based Collette has expanded to in the past month.

• The redevelopment of The Grant at 250 Main St. into a mix of tenants offering visitors a chance to shop, eat and play. Owner Leslie Moore has also purchased two other buildings in the area and has plans to redevelop those.

• The ongoing redevelopment of the gateway Beswick Building at 3 Exchange St.

• And the pending purchase by a developer of 217 Main St., across the street from The Grant.

The RFP process will help officials see who’s serious and enable officials to weigh factors such as potential for private investment and requirements for public investment, say state officials.

Proposals for McCoy must identify community and economic development opportunities near McCoy and in Pawtucket’s large downtown redevelopment area.

Comments

I guess the Mayor doe not want to wait and see if Partner Group wants old Memorial. Sad!