Demolition begins at 258 Pine St.

Demolition begins at 258 Pine St.

Demolition debris sits in the yard at 258 Pine St., in Pawtucket on Monday afternoon. (Breeze photo by Robert Emerson)

PAWTUCKET – Working alongside a special master appointed by the Rhode Island Superior Court, the city announced that the demolition of the burned-out old mill building at 258 Pine St., began on Monday.

“This property has been a public safety hazard for our residents and businesses in the downtown area for too long,” said Wilder Arboleda, spokesman for Mayor Donald Grebien.

The first phase of the project will involve asbestos abatement in the interior of the building and roof. Once this phase is completed, contractor AA Wrecking will begin demolition of this structure near the city’s planned new commuter rail station in the coming weeks. The completion of the demolition is expected within eight to 12 weeks.

“The city will continue to work together with the special master to ensure that the building is demolished as soon as possible as has been recommended, and to market the derelict property for future potential development,” said Arboleda. “We thank the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency for their continued leadership throughout this process.”

City officials had originally predicted demolition to start in December.

The property, burned in a fire back in the fall of 2018, has sat largely untouched since. The cause of the fire was never determined.

In taking the matter to court, officials contended that the condition of the property poses an imminent danger to public health.

The special master, attorney John Dorsey, was appointed after the various owners associated with the property failed to comply with the city’s orders to clean it up.