Fortuitous Partners touts $400 million downtown project

Fortuitous Partners touts $400 million downtown project

A rendering on the Fortuitous Partners website shows what appears to be a major development of a soccer stadium and other amenities within an opportunity zone on the downtown Pawtucket riverfront.
Rendering shows it encompassing Apex, Tidewater site

PAWTUCKET – An online rendering of a soccer stadium and surrounding amenities appears to show prominent properties in downtown Pawtucket, and representatives for Fortuitous Partners have confirmed on their website that they’re pursuing a $400 million project in this city.

Neither the company nor state and local leaders were confirming this week that the New York-based company will be named the winner of the state’s bidding process for new development in the downtown area, but Brett Johnson, in a story posted on his company’s website, said the scale of the company’s proposed projects in Pawtucket and elsewhere “is really exciting.”

Though the rendering appears to be missing some downtown features and shows mountains in the background, it seems to show a soccer stadium where the Tidewater Gas Works manufactured gas and electricity facility across from the Festival Pier on the Seekonk River, as well as separate development at the Apex site on the other side of the Pawtucket River Bridge. If the rendering is accurate, it also shows development at 45 Division St., a parcel the city has long sought to redevelop. Both the Pawtucket River Bridge and Division Street Bridge are shown in the rendering.

Johnson told The Breeze by email that because the process is still ongoing, the company is holding off on responding to any inquiries at this time.

"We are incredibly excited about the possibility of working with the state of Rhode Island and the city of Pawtucket to make our proposal a reality," he said. "If we are fortunate enough to be selected, we plan to engage with the news media, and the larger community, in a comprehensive, transparent and proactive way."

The Fortuitous Partners rendering is located on a webpage explaining federal opportunity zones, where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. The apparent proposed development in downtown Pawtucket is located within such an opportunity zone.

According to the Connect Media story on the company website, Brett Johnson of Fortuitous Partners was scheduled to go into greater detail on the company’s Pawtucket proposal during a conference in New York on Oct. 23. Johnson did not respond to a request for comment this week on those details. State and local officials have indicated they’re not ready to make an official statement.

“One of our primary verticals is sports-anchored mixed-use developments in opportunity zones,” Johnson said for the Connect Media story. “We’re creating 365-day-a-year destinations with sports entertainment, retail, food, and then putting hotels and multifamily around them.”

The thesis, he continued, has been “very well received by the opportunity zone community because it checks a lot of boxes. It will revitalize these areas, and generate a lot of economic impact and jobs.”

The Breeze reported last week that it appears a soccer use will be the winner selected through a lengthy state bidding and review process. The previously announced bid by Fortuitous Partners, one of six proposals received by the state, is to bring United Soccer and a multi-sport recreational park to downtown Pawtucket.

Johnson, according to the company website, is co-chairman of the Phoenix Rising Football Club, a United Soccer League franchise. He described United Soccer as the fastest-growing sports league in the world, saying the company is exploring more than 60 markets that all have the potential to bring soccer, and leveraging the opportunity zones in every case.

The winning bid likely won’t need to be approved by the General Assembly, as negotiations have reportedly taken place within a framework previously approved by state lawmakers for a new downtown baseball stadium, a proposal that was ultimately rejected by the Pawtucket Red Sox.

State officials had originally announced that they expected to announce a winner of the bidding process by the end of September.

Comments

I'm wondering how this would affect the boat ramp and fishing area off of School Street.
This area is great for fishing (and partying and loud music).

it's further up the river.