PawSox looking at Apex property for new stadium

PawSox looking at Apex property for new stadium

The existing footprint of McCoy Stadium is superimposed on the Apex site using Google Earth. The three parcels of property above to the north and east of the property are all owned by Apex owner Andrew Gates, who has long struggled to redevelop the property.

UPDATE: Apex owners say they're in discussions with PawSox and others

The owners of Apex Development Company released the following statement Wednesday in response to The Valley Breeze's report on the Pawtucket Red Sox having interest in their property for a stadium.

"As part of Apex Development Company’s vision to redevelop its Pawtucket properties, we are engaged in ongoing conversations with a number of interested parties including the Pawtucket Red Sox and other potential retail, office and restaurant tenants," they said.


PAWTUCKET – Owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox are analyzing the Apex property on the city’s riverfront as one of several possible sites other than McCoy Stadium for a future new baseball venue.

Three sources confirmed this week that discussions about the Apex site are happening. Though the existing stadium is part of an ongoing feasibility study, they say the owners are also considering a location with more development potential around it.

An aerial analysis by The Valley Breeze shows that the existing footprint of McCoy Stadium might easily fit on the Apex site.

Bill Wanless, vice president of communications and community relations for the PawSox, confirmed that the Apex site and others are under consideration.

“You’re not wrong,” he initially responded when told of the suggestion that Apex is up for consideration. “I would say you’re on the right track.”

Wanless and team officials offered no additional information.

“At this point, we have no comment as our focus is on the ongoing McCoy Stadium study,” he later added.

The site of Apex Department Store and its famed ziggurat roof may be considered desirable because:

• It’s on the riverfront within easy sight of the lighted Pawtucket River Bridge and Slater Mill. Team Chairman Larry Lucchino has talked often about a desire to see baseball on the water with picturesque views.

• The site is tucked right up against I-95, with easy highway access just feet away. It is less than one mile from the existing McCoy Stadium.

• It would be located within a few hundred feet of a proposed major redevelopment at 45 Division St.

• It located just around the corner from the city’s only hotel, the soon-to-be-reopened Hampton Inn Pawtucket/Providence.

• It is right near several riverfront parks, including the Slater Mill site, a bonus for the team’s many fireworks displays.

• It would be closer than the existing stadium to both a future planned Pawtucket train station and The Guild brewing facility, a future tourist destination on Main Street.

If a new stadium does take form at Apex, a baseball fan could get off the train, walk one-tenth of a mile to the brewery and then another four-tenths of a mile to the stadium.

Lucchino and others have emphasized that they want any venue for the Pawtucket Red Sox to be a great destination for fans.

It’s still too early to say what team owners will be asking for in terms of investments from the city and state to either revamp the existing McCoy Stadium or build somewhere else.

According to the sources, relocating the PawSox to the Apex site would likely require development of a parking garage. The current owner of the property, Andrew Gates, also owns three abutting parcels, including the former George’s Games, the Apex Tire and Service Center, and a vacant property directly across the street. Other nearby parking amenities include the City Hall parking lot and city parking garage.

A move from the stadium’s current location would also put the stadium right in the city’s downtown and move it away from a neighborhood that poses some challenges for future development. The existing stadium is surrounded by apartment houses, a school and a warehouse.

Closer to the planned train station, a number of other major projects are either in the planning stage or already being developed.

Nick Steffey, of Narragansett Bay Insurance Company on Main Street, told The Breeze for a story last week that he and others with his company are intrested in being part of any future development with the train station or new stadium.

Diagonally across Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue from the Apex site is Pet Food Experts, a redeveloped property with a rooftop deck.

City officials declined to comment on any speculation that the PawSox owners are looking at the Apex site, which has long sat nearly dormant. Mayor Donald Grebien said officials continue to be focused on the existing McCoy Stadium site.

“The McCoy study is expected to be completed by the end of the month. The state, city and PawSox have been working with the consultant as defined in the (request for proposals) to determine the feasibility and economic potential at the site,” he said in a statement. “This partnership is focused on maintaining this premier recreational amenity for the residents of Pawtucket and Rhode Island for years to come.”

Keeping the minor league baseball franchise in Pawtucket and at McCoy are his top priorities, said Grebien.

“The study being conducted, which is focused on the McCoy Stadium site, will determine the actual cost and feasibility to accomplish this,” he said. “As the mayor of this great city, I have the obligation to the residents to protect their interests through a transparent process. This study is doing just that. It will answer the questions that many residents and Rhode Islanders had over the years in regard to the true costs and value of investment needed at this facility.”

PawSox officials have recommitted to Pawtucket after an earlier attempt to move the team to Providence.


Comments

Just because something looks good on paper does not mean that it is with flaws. Take this :

If a new stadium does take form at Apex, a baseball fan could get off the train, walk one-tenth of a mile to the brewery and then another four-tenths of a mile to the stadium.

An out-of-towner walking at night thru downtown, all I see is this person being harassed for loose change, prostitution and subject to assault.

They talked about the parking garage downtown for parking, with the possibility of building a new one for the stadium. Everyone complains about the current garage and it state of dis-repair. It falls victim to vandals on a daily basis. In other words the city has PROVEN it cant take care of the one it currently has.

sometimes I wonder what these people are thinking.

Strategically located between Massachusetts and Rhode Island with all the bells,whistles,trains,highways,parking,water,hotel,restaurants,parks and historically picturesque.

It could work but giving millions to the billionaire owners would pretty stupid.

There are only 72 home games a year. Optimistically throw in a few dozen concerts and other events, and you still have two enormous parcels (the stadium and the parking garage) that are completely dead 70 percent of the year. We need something that will be vibrant all the time for the Apex site. A free shuttle (Pawtucket used to have one!) would serve well to get people from the train station to the existing McCoy site.

I don't know why they always say "site of the former Apex" when the store is open every day... I bought some stuff there TODAY to prove the point.

parking is still going to be a huge issue. that garage would have to hold upwards 3500 spots I would imagine just to remain viable. While not all of the particulars have not been release it has the feeling of cramming 7# of sh*t into a 5# bag. Lets just cram it all in there....itll fit. What the PAWSOX were looking for in a restaurant within walking distanst, Unless D&D counts there are non.

This is an EXCELLENT spot for a NEW Staduim! Bravo indeed! It will enliven and secure an otherwise dead and decrepit Downtown... The site is right on the riverwalk, with that beautiful new bridge lit up as it's backdrop. Everyone will see and know this site from I-95; a Pawtucket/Greater Providence civic sports landmark like none before! I pray this happens and soon. Let's stop the moaning folks. It's time for a new star! Make Pawtucket the destination it deserves to be. Bravo Apex, Bravo Mayor Grebien. Bravo Lucky Luchino!.. Here we go!!!!...

I think the location where the old Apex is will be a great location for the new stadium. There isn't much going on in the downtown area so why not bulldoze downtown and rebuild with a new stadium, restaurants etc and being by the river would be great. I hope the Pawsox organization stays.

Don't be fooled by the promise of a shiny new stadium until every last little detail is to be had, it doesn't pass the smell test right now. Stadium itself there, no opinion either way. HOWEVER. the #1 item on the list is parking. the current local has built in parking in the lots all around the stadium with overflow at the schools. Apex site has nothing, now as the article mentions they do have the tire center, but that place does a brisk business so I din't see them closing that. The vacant lot, they would have to hope to get a variation to build a garage and even at that it would have to be a significant one in order to hold the amount of off street parked cars that the current location does not. They could also build a 2nd garage at the georges games building. As the article says that their is the City hall lot...that hols maybe 50, cause 1/3 is for police parking only, the rest is open with several spots constantly parked across from the fire dept. Same thing with the slater mill lot next to slater mill, 50 spots or so. And then there is the parking garage...I don't even know what to say about that place. Day games during the week forget the lots, they're all full.

Where are these restaurants going to be built taking into account the above? The shopping sites? The devil in the details that I would be shocked if we heard anything about these every again

Grebs: I have the obligation to the residents to protect their interests through a transparent process. This study is doing just that. It will answer the questions that many residents and Rhode Islanders had over the years in regard to the true costs and value of investment needed at this facility.”

Guarantee that the PAWSOX, The State and the city are going to as transparent as a sheet of plywood. They are all going to point the fingers at each other. Transparent...the most overused buzz used by politicians all over.

How much is this going to cost the Pawt. taxpayers? Pawtucket is a poor city who will be giving millions to build a stadium we can't afford. Who will be getting the profits from the tickets sales? Pawtucket? A bunch of rich guys? Too many unanswered financial issues that our city does not want us to know about. Maybe Curt Schilling will throw out the first pitch in this new stadium?

Pawtucket Citizen, Michael Tyrrell, mp775, you like the idea of a nice new glitzy stadium, complete with all the bells and whistles that have nothing to do with baseball, and how good this will be for Pawtucket. Has it occurred to you that, assuming a majority of Pawtucket voters like this idea (and I personally am assuming nothing), you still have to get this one past the general assembly, who are a little more cautious than they once were.

The majority of the state is not willing to carry this load. If you can't get Lucchino and the rest of the Skeffies to come up with the cash, this isn't going to happen.

I enjoy Pawtucket Red Sox games very much, and go as often as I can....but if they move to Massachusetts, I'll get over it.