Gazdacko thanks first responders after mills destroyed

Gazdacko thanks first responders after mills destroyed

Urban Smart Growth assessing safety, next steps

PAWTUCKET – The developer that owns the property where eight mill buildings were destroyed by fire two weeks ago is thanking first responders, including police and firefighters from Pawtucket, Central Falls and surrounding communities, for their work in containing the fire.

“While the damage was severe, they were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the surrounding homes and businesses, and make sure that no one was hurt,” Michael Gazdacko, of Urban Smart Growth, told The Breeze of the fire at the old Paramount Card Company.

Gazdacko said the owners were working with investigators to help them finish their work.

“Simultaneously, we are planning the immediate next steps of fencing off the area and getting a crew into the site to make sure there are no portions of buildings that could collapse once the investigators are able to finish,” he said last week.

Gazdacko said there has been little thought about what’s next for the properties.

“Obviously, we are still taking stock of the extent of damage, and once the dust settles, we will begin to think about what is next,” he said. “Our priority now is to make the site safe and assess the immediate next steps.”

The Breeze reported last week that Urban Smart Growth was in preliminary talks with the Pawtucket Commerce Department on specifics related to federal opportunity zone specifics and tax stabilization agreements on the 12-acre property, where two of the eight buildings are in Pawtucket, two in Central Falls, and another four with portions in both communities.

The company was further along in the redevelopment process on the Central Falls side.

The property is located within the Conant Thread District, a combined Pawtucket/Central Falls redevelopment area surrounding a new commuter rail station.

Urban Smart Growth is the developer of the Hope Artiste Village, a rehabbed mill on Main Street filled with businesses and now 150 residences.