Train station teams lease space at Toole Building

Train station teams lease space at Toole Building

The top two floors of the Toole Building on Main Street have been leased as office space for those working on Pawtucket’s new train station.
All five floors on Main Street could soon be filled

PAWTUCKET – The Main Street area has gotten a lift thanks to the pending development of a new commuter rail station.

Linda Dewing, of Places and Spaces Realty, said the state has signed a three-year lease for the floors above the Artéé Fabrics store in the old Toole Building at 228 Main St., meaning a substantial infusion of people into an area that’s seeing more commercial activity. Several nearby restaurants and other stores could benefit by the filling of vacant space, said Dewing.

The spaces were previously renovated, said Dewing. RIDOT staff will take up the fifth floor, and employees from Barletta Heavy Division (engineering) will be on the fourth floor. The spaces are expected to be occupied soon.

Zabinsky Music Studio is now on the third floor after signing a separate lease, according to Arti Bhandari Mehta, owner of the high-end fabric store chain and the building itself.

There are also ongoing talks with a potential tenant for the second floor, said Dewing.

The whole building is owned by Bhandari Mehta. It is located near Still on Main, the new and expanding mini mall at The Grant building, 250 Main St.

Bhandari Mehta told The Breeze she’s excited about the pending construction of the train station and what it will do for her store and the entire area.

“It should increase the business and I think it should be better for the downtown,” she said, adding that she expects the infusion of new residents in planned residential developments will increase her clientele.

She said she’s also happy to host the workers who will design the station.

Asked how business has been, Bhandari Mehta said, “not great, not bad,” but she expects improvement in the near future.

The Breeze reported over the summer that visible construction on the commuter rail station between Main Street and Conant Street would begin next spring. Train service is expected to start in 2022.

What’s widely considered to be a game-changing train station and bus hub for Pawtucket and Central Falls has a price tag of $47 million, the majority of which is coming from the federal government.

Some preliminary work has been done at the train station site, which is located along the busy northeast corridor linking Providence and Boston. Pawtucket has seen significant redevelopment projects proposed here, with more in the pipeline. There has been so much interest, in fact, that officials have developed zoning and affordable housing guidelines for the area that help control new development.

Bhandari Mehta and Shekhar LLC purchased the historic Toole Building at 228 Main St. from local businessman Louis Yip in 2009. After several attempts to open a branch of the fabric company in Pawtucket had fallen through, local redevelopment advocate Phyllis Nathanson, of Morris Nathanson Design, connected Bhandari Mehta with Yip and a final sale price of $230,000 was settled upon.