Distribution center approved at site of former Microfibres

Distribution center approved at site of former Microfibres

The former Microfibres site at 1 Moshassuck St. in Pawtucket will soon be replaced with a modern distribution center.

PAWTUCKET – The City Planning Commission last month approved preliminary plans from JK Equities for a large-scale distribution center called Blackstone Distribution Center to replace the former Microfibres at 1 Moshassuck St.

Assistant Director of Planning Jay Rosa said the May 18 vote was for conditional approval, subject to additional permitting approval by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and utilities National Grid, Narragansett Bay Commission, and the Pawtucket Water Supply Board.

This will not be a rehab of the existing mill structure but a total demolition of the vacant industrial structure and new construction of a 159,562-square-foot distribution facility with 128 parking spaces and 36 loading spaces, according to the written decision on the plan.

The preliminary plan review associated with the demolition and construction of the new facility on 10.44 acres calls for the redesign of the intersection of Main and Moshassuck streets.

The Planning Commission found the plan consistent with Pawtucket’s comprehensive plan’s goals, including protecting successful land uses, reducing the amount of vacant industrial space in the city, cleaning up 10 acres of contaminated property in a decade, increasing the number of businesses in the city, and providing adequate infrastructure including utilities, roadways and parking facilities at appropriate locations for economic development activities.

The applicant had previously been granted necessary special use permits and dimensional variances by the Pawtucket Zoning Board.

The project is for a 1940 mill property purchased by HP Fabrics in 2017. The distribution facility is being marketed at negotiable rates to new lessees starting next March.

The Breeze reported in May 2017 that Microfibres had sold industrial property, including 300,000 square feet of mill complex space, to HP Fabrics Inc. Microfibres, a manufacturer and distributor of upholstery fabrics, closed its Pawtucket and North Carolina branches in February of that year.