Possible new owner of Pawtucket's Chester Building - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Possible new owner of Pawtucket's Chester Building

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Nicole Gerber

ngerber@abc6.com

@nicolegerber

PAWTUCKET - 175 main street in Pawtucket, also known as the Chester Building, could soon see a new owner.

Pet Food Experts Inc., a Cumberland pet food and supply distributor, is in talks with the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency... negotiating a $2.2 million deal.

"We've been having financial challenges, Pawtucket Redevelopment who owns that, we had some tenants that pulled out over the last couple of years that made it challenging so we're looking at different alternatives to how we make the building successful," said Mayor Donald Grebien.

The deal is expected to be finalized sometime within the next 90 days, bringing 70 new jobs to the downtown area.

Nearby businesses say they hope the deal goes through because right now, business is less than booming in downtown Pawtucket.

"Right now it's slow, at least if more people can be in the area that will help the business to grow," said  Toyin Wilcox, owner of the Village Restaurant, across the street from the Chester Building.

The Chester Building is currently home to the Blackstone Valley Visitor's Center and Tourism Office, a RIPTA station, and some other offices. Those tenants won't have to move once the deal is finalized.

"We're working on, whether it's a rental or a devaluation... We're going to work that out, they're committed to doing that they don't have a need for the first floor they have a need for the second floor," said Grebien.

The hope being that this will be the springboard for Pawtucket's downtown to gain some recognition and popularity.

"Downtown Pawtucket is dead, and more business and more people coming down, will give a good reputation," said Wilcox.

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