Pawtucket celebrates Tidewater Landing project coming to waterfront

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WLNE) — The city of Pawtucket broke ground Friday morning on the Tidewater Landing project.

The project will move Pawtucket’s waterfront one step closer to what state leaders said will be a “world-class” destination, which will be home to a 10,000-seat professional soccer stadium, housing, retail stores, and restaurants.

“Today, we take a giant step forward in building an iconic sports and entertainment venue, and building a soccer club for Rhode Island,” said Brett Johnson, the founder of Fortuitous Partners, the group leading this project.

Johnson said the stadium, which will be home to a United Soccer League team, will be complete in 2024 and be ready to play in that spring.

He said the team name, along with its colors and team crest, will be announced “very soon.”

The project has been riddled with setbacks over the past three years, including issues of inflation, which raised the cost of phase one of the project by more than $40 million.

“This site has been vacant for 50 years. Now we’re going to put it to good use,” said Gov. Dan McKee. “No longer are we going to wait to invest in Pawtucket.”

Last month, McKee issued a tiebreaking vote to move the project forward, as well as amending it to include $27 million in state funding and taxpayer protections that includes buyouts from a professional soccer team if they fail to last at least 30 years in Pawtucket.

This came after the total cost of the project was raised to more than $400 million, with phase one of the Tidewater Landing projects price tag growing more than $40 million due to inflation, up to $124 million.

The adjusted deal also includes that the project’s developer adds between 80 and 100 more housing units, in addition to its original estimation of 435.

Leaders behind the project, like McKee, said the project will pay for itself in the long run, and lead to the revitalization of Pawtucket.

“We’re creating an economy in the state of Rhode Island and still generating the income through jobs and as well as the overall investment in communities that are going to materialize into a continuing momentum in Rhode Island that we’ve never seen before,” said McKee.

A $63 million Pawtucket-Central Falls transit center is also in the works, and that commuter rail will service start as soon as later this year, according to Gov. McKee. The commuter rail will offer transportation to soccer games, concerts, and housing options as Pawtucket continues to work to grow its waterfront tourism.

The latest report from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s consulting firm shows the Tidewater Landing project won’t be complete for at least another two years, with residential spaces not set to be complete until at least 2025.

Categories: News, Pawtucket, Rhode Island