PAWTUCKET — City officials and a developer are proposing a $400 million downtown redevelopment project centered around a 7,500-seat multi-use stadium that it is hoped will become home to a minor league soccer team.
The plan, unveiled Monday, could end up being the biggest redevelopment project in city history. Officials said it would transform Pawtucket’s waterfront with hundreds of thousands of square feet of new retail, restaurant and office space, 200 housing units, a 200-room hotel, and an indoor sports events center. A riverwalk park and a new pedestrian bridge are also proposed.
“It will transform this area into a vibrant hub of activity like we haven’t seen in decades,” Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo said.
In addition to being home to a soccer team, the stadium would also be available for other uses including concerts and sports, including football, lacrosse, rugby, field hockey, and amateur soccer.
The announcement was the conclusion of an effort to attract private investment to the city following last summer’s announcement that the Pawtucket Red Sox would relocate to Worcester.
The proposed project, called Tidewater Landing, is being led by the Fortuitous Group, an investment firm specializing in sports-anchored mixed-use real estate projects.
The project hinges on about 20 percent of the project’s overall costs, or $70 million to $90 million, to be covered by public financing, mostly state revenue for infrastructure such as roadwork. Fortuitous intends to finance the stadium privately.
Preliminary estimates indicate taxes received by the city and state have the potential to be as much as double the public investment of city and state tax dollars, officials said.
Mayor Donald Grebien said the project will create more than 2,500 construction jobs and about 1,200 permanent jobs.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for the city of Pawtucket, the Blackstone Valley, and the state of Rhode Island,” Grebien said. “It’s a natural expansion from our beautiful Slater Mill National Park to the city’s underutilized riverfront.”
The plan is to bring a new soccer team that will compete in the USL Championship — the second division of professional soccer in the United States. It is expected to begin play in the 2022 season.
“Tidewater Landing is a phenomenal opportunity for the city and region, and we are incredibly excited to be working with the State of Rhode Island and the City of Pawtucket to make it a reality,” said Brett M. Johnson, founder and partner of Fortuitous Partners and co-chairman of the Phoenix Rising Football Club. “The initiative will transform the area by maximizing Pawtucket’s many assets to create a vibrant live, work, and play environment. The combination of a successful USL Championship club and the surrounding mixed-use development will make Tidewater Landing a destination of civic pride for decades to come.”