Investment blooming near future train station

Investment blooming near future train station

PAWTUCKET – City officials expect to host a groundbreaking for a future new commuter train station later this month, but the area around the coming station between Conant Street and Main Street is already seeing significant development of new commercial, nonprofit and residential space.

Mayor Donald Grebien and his administration are working closely with Commerce Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to identify further state investments in the area, said Grebien spokesman Wilder Arboleda this week.

Here are some of the projects either recently completed or planned for the area of the new train station:

• Shri Yoga, 390 Pine St. This mill rehab includes workforce housing, light manufacturing, and exercise uses. The partner in the project is PCF Development and the developer is piecing together nonprofit financing.

• Nulco Lofts, 30 Beecher St. In this development, 112 market rate residential units are being developed by Aurora Leigh, and are to be completed late this year. Leigh and her company are responsible for a number of completed and in-progress projects around the train station.

• Former New England Paper Tube, 173-195 Weeden St. The City Council, in late September, approved a zone change from industrial open use to commercial downtown use, making way for the proposed mix of residential and commercial space, highlighted by 156 residential loft living spaces.

• New England Paper Tube has relocated to 200 Conant St., a renovated national historic mill structure.

• The Guild, 461 Main St. This craft beer and food campus in the former Kellaway Center is seeing another expansion as it sees rapid growth as a new destination. In addition to a tap room and event hall already in operation, the owners will soon bring a new beer hall online, a move expected to make it even more popular for events and entertainment.

• The Level Exchange, around the corner at 24 Commerce St., is a recently completed music management and production space in a rehabilitated mill.

• The former Church Hill Grammar School, 81 Park Place, is seeing an ongoing renovation of his historic structure with the creation of 14 market rate residential units.

• The Clock Tower Residences, an upscale residential redevelopment at 167 George St., already has some residents, but is looking to add more as part of the ongoing transformation of the former St. Mary Catholic Church and St. Mary’s School.

• Harvest Kitchen, at 2 Bayley St., is a PCF Development rehab project with 13 residential units with recently expanded nonprofit kitchen operations and a new employee/training program.

In preparation for the rail station being built by 2021, Pawtucket officials are also working with leaders in Central Falls on the Transit-Oriented Development District for the area surrounding the train station, where flexible and streamlined zoning will be designed to help create a sort of new city within the two neighboring cities.

Jan Brodie, executive director of the Pawtucket Foundation, told The Breeze in the spring that numerous companies were targeting the area for possible further development, with potential uses including corporate campus, office, retail, light industrial, food and beverage, and start-up entrepreneurs.

The city also learned last month that it would receive funds to build what’s known as a “green and complete street” project in the area around the train station, including adding “green” infrastructure and “complete street” design elements in, as Grebien put it, “a highly urbanized area that is expected to undergo substantial redevelopment in the next 10 years.”

Officials plan to create a full-scale transit hub in the area of the train station, incorporating a bus terminal and other transportation elements.