RIVERFRONT CORRIDOR INITIATIVE
Pawtucket has no greater natural resource than the historic Blackstone/Pawtucket River that runs through its downtown. The river played a vital role for early settlers and in providing the energy necessary to begin the American Industrial Revolution at Slater Mill. Today, the river provides an opportunity for recreation and attracting redevelopment. The Pawtucket Foundation worked for and helped advance the construction of Festival Pier on the east bank and Town Landing on the west bank of the river, used by residents for passive recreation and for tourism at such international events as the Dragon Boat races held every year in late summer. The Chocolate Mill Overlook Park in Central Falls commemorates one of the nation’s earliest water powered chocolate mills. And, the River is now the centerpiece of the new Blackstone Valley National Park that extends from the southern end of the Blackstone through historic Slater Mill and downtown Pawtucket, to the towns of xxx to the north.
In the past decade, $184M in private sector investments have resulted in numerous mill redevelopments and new construction in the downtown and along the river. Riverfront Corridor Initiative has targeted two sites along the river’s edge.
The Pawtucket Foundation supports and helps advance the Division Street riverfront parcel(s) to be developed along the east bank with a mix of residential and commercial uses. The Tidewater site along the west bank is being readied for development with environmental assessments and remediation through RIDEM brownfields grants.
Identifying Riverfront Potential
The report prepared by FXM Associates revealed several key findings: