Pawtucket football stadium development underway

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The redevelopment of Pawtucket’s Seekonk Riverfront into a mixed-use, $ 284 million stadium-centric complex is slowly gaining momentum.

As Italian football fans cheered on their national team’s victory at the European Championship, stadium developer Fortuitous Partners worked on some of the finer details of what it will take to bring a professional football team to Rhode Island. .

They are hoping their new American football second division team will start in the spring of 2023 and to meet that deadline they are building the stadium ahead of other elements of development.

In June, Fortuitous hired Dimeo Construction to build the 11,000-seat stadium and, according to a project schedule submitted to Pawtucket planners this month, intends to begin construction shortly after Labor Day. . Site preparation is already underway.

The 14-acre “Tidewater” properties off Taft Street once housed a manufactured gas plant and the National Grid utility, which is responsible for cleaning up historic contamination at the site, is preparing to begin work on its part. project.

National Grid will build much of the public promenade next to the stadium. Environmental remediation and the boardwalk are expected to cost between $ 20 million and $ 25 million, National Grid spokesman Ted Kresse said on Wednesday.

Work on a mixed-use commercial and apartment development on the east side of the river is expected to begin next spring and last for approximately two years.

The east bank development includes its own promenade and a planned pedestrian bridge connecting shops, restaurants, offices and 200 apartments to the stadium site.

The football stadium itself will be aligned north-south along the Seekonk with its two-level main stand facing east, facing the water and sheltered from the reflections of the evening sun. The structure is designed so that the team can expand it to 15,000 places if there is demand.

The field will be of synthetic turf and will be able to accommodate other sports such as lacrosse, rugby and [American] Soccer.

At the north end of the stadium closest to Pawtucket town center, plans show a public square with grass where fans will congregate on match days and farmers’ markets or art fairs may have held at other times.

On the other side of the Fortuitous square, there is a mixed-use building with 235 apartments, shops and restaurants facing the stadium, as well as a parking lot with 750 spaces.

The parking lot should not be built when the stadium opens, so Fortuitous is working on a match day parking plan that will see most fans park on lots away from the stadium. The only on-site parking will be in a 128-space lot intended primarily for the team, staff and some VIPs.

Fortuitous is working with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority to run a shuttle bus through downtown Pawtucket on game days to the under construction grounds of Pawtucket-Central Falls MBTA Suburban Station and City Hall.

Another shuttle could be deployed to pick up fans from the parking lots around McCoy Stadium, which is now nearly empty and professional baseball is no longer being played there.

To help fans navigate the various satellite lots, Fortuitous intends to use an app that allows them to purchase parking when they get their tickets and provides GPS directions to the correct lot.

The past year has been marked by shortages and price increases for many building materials, but fortuitous project manager Dan Kroeber said on Wednesday he didn’t think it would cause the project to be over budgeted.

Last winter, Pawtucket approved zoning changes for the football stadium and the “Tidewater Landing” project, so Fortuitous only needs a sitemap review and approval of details such as storm water to move forward.

The project is funded in part by a $ 50 million incentive program. This package includes a $ 36 million loan to be repaid with new city and state tax revenues collected in and around downtown Pawtucket. And it includes $ 14 million in state building tax credits.

With construction set to begin, Fortuitous is now starting to hire staff to build the football team.

Kroeber said the team hopes to find a brand and name by the end of the year.

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On Twitter: @PatrickAnderso_


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