Pawtucket, Central Falls team up for riverfront planning

THE BLACKSTONE River, shown here at Slater Mill in Pawtucket.
Posted 5/30/12

PAWTUCKET – The cities of Pawtucket and Central Falls have teamed up with The Pawtucket Foundation and a consulting firm to conduct market analysis and pre-development real estate advisory services for a riverfront revitalization project.

The cities and the foundation have selected Mattapoisett, Mass.-based FXM Associates as consultant.

The market analysis will determine what areas along the Blackstone River in Pawtucket’s historic district would be feasible to develop.

The study will also analyze market potential, assess limitations regarding investment and development, and define development economic revitalization goals for the riverfront area.

“The objective of the riverfront planning initiative is to develop a strategy to package the district into a cohesive, well-branded place with the Blackstone River as the centerpiece,” Thomas Mann, executive director of The Pawtucket Foundation, said in prepared remarks.

Pawtucket, Central Falls and The Pawtucket Foundation were awarded a $100,000 Statewide Planning Challenge Grant for the riverfront initiative.

Additional funds of $38,000 and $3,000 were awarded to The Pawtucket Foundation by The Rhode Island Foundation and the Ocean State Charities Trust, respectively.

Along with city governments and local property owners, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and the Slater Mill Museum are all partners in the riverfront economic revitalization effort.

“Despite its great potential, for too long our riverfront area has been an underutilized resource,” Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien said in a statement.

“A key part of my administration’s economic policy is to focus on the riverfront as a way to grow our tax base by developing that area for local economic growth and as a regional destination,” added Grebien. “We are committed to working with our neighbors in Central Falls, riverfront property owners and The Pawtucket Foundation to make that vision become a reality.”

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