Peregrine Group says it’s committed to project at 45 Division St.

Peregrine Group says it’s committed to project at 45 Division St.

PAWTUCKET – Representatives for the East Providence-based Peregrine Group say they’re still committed to redeveloping a vacant 10-acre riverfront property at 45 Division St., despite learning this month that they lost a prospective anchor tenant.

Principal Colin Kane told the City Council last week that officials are free to move forward with another developer but said he and others in the company remain resolute in bringing a mixed-use project to the property despite the setback. According to Kane, Peregrine’s “catalyst” tenant “left the field last week.”

Council member John Barry said officials have been patient for two decades on getting the parcel redeveloped, so they’re willing to wait longer if it means that the Peregrine Group will be successful.

Officials pledged to do everything they can to help the Peregrine Group land the tenant it needs for the project.

The project, with a 55-foot drop in elevation to the river, remains a challenging one, said Kane, and there remains a significant gap to making it economically feasible. Officials from the Rhode Island Commerce Corp. are working with the developer on possible tax credits but want to see a project in more advanced planning stages before awarding money.

Peregrine officials are planning a major mixed use development with housing, commercial and office space, but need a tenant to take up at least 20,000 square feet of the space to make the project work.

Kane and council members agreed that Peregrine officials will continue coming on a quarterly basis to update officials on the progress of the project. Though disappointed at the latest setback, he said, he has a “high degree of confidence” that the project will work and is grateful to officials for working with the developer.

Councilor Terry Mercer said officials are willing to be patient and told Kane to let them know if there’s anything they can do to move his project forward.

Council President David Moran also said officials remain committed to the project. He asked Kane if he could give a timeline for when the project might be ready to launch, but Kane said he can’t.

City officials are asking representatives for the Rhode Island Commerce Corp. to steer any potential major tenants Pawtucket’s way to help make the riverfront project work.

Local officials three years ago sought proposals for the site of a previously failed hotel project that landed the city in court. Peregrine ended up being the only company to submit a proposal, as the Tai-O Group and Apex Development both backed out.

City officials had taken back the property in 2009 after representatives for Carpionato Properties failed to complete construction of a 100-room hotel within a 48-month timeframe. Pawtucket had a strong “reverter clause” that allowed officials to take back the property.

A Hampton Inn was originally intended to be the centerpiece of a major waterfront redevelopment initiative on the Division Street land awarded to Carpionato for just $1 in 2004.

The 45 Division St. property is located right near the Apex Department Store property being looked at for a possible new baseball stadium. City officials have also suggested the 45 Division St. site as a possible alternative location for the stadium.

Comments

The common belief is that we will see the Eagle land on Pluto before the Peregrine lands on that riverfront overlook.

The most challenging thing about the parcel's 55-foot drop in elevation is the challenge that it presents to Boston developers who cannot compete with its spectacular view of the upper reaches of Narragansett Bay. Anyone who has ever seen photographs of the hundreds of buildings that once hugged the Blackstone and Seekonk Rivers, even straddling them like architect Frank Lloyd Wright's famous cantilevered Fallingwater, can only wonder that those structures were built back in the days when "cranes in the air" meant that a heavy object was lifted by a rope, a pulley and a lot of strong men.
--Poe Box

Reading the article makes me want to become a developer in this state but especially in Pawtucket, after all they give you " tax breaks and subsidies" that come out to be more then the cost of the project. Great deal I get to keep all the profits and the taxpayers get the bill. Where do I sign up?