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Mayor Grebien Brings Together Business Community to Launch Pawtucket’s 20/20 Development Vision

PAWTUCKET- Today, Mayor Donald R. Grebien, in partnership with the Pawtucket Foundation, hosted a business forum at Slater Mill to discuss Pawtucket’s 20/20 downtown development vision with local business and property owners in the city’s growth center district and get their input. Mayor Grebien spoke about the current development underway and future plans for the riverfront and downtown areas, including projects currently in the pipeline such as the downtown commuter rail station.

“Pawtucket is experiencing a revitalization and a renewed sense of optimism. The commuter rail is on the horizon, new businesses are moving in, and our existing businesses are growing. Pawtucket is truly evolving,” said Mayor Grebien. “Now is Pawtucket’s time, and we want to align the efforts of the public and private sectors to capitalize on the momentum that these exciting projects are generating. My administration is always working with our local businesses to streamline services, cut red tape, and create the environment for them to innovate and succeed,” Grebien continued. “Today, we brought many of our local business leaders together to continue this collaborative process and discuss the potential multiplier effect and spillover benefit of these projects. As a gateway to Rhode Island, redevelopment and further growth in Pawtucket has a huge impact for the state as a whole,” concluded Grebien.

Mayor Grebien spoke with business leaders about many of the projects underway in the downtown/riverfront area, the City’s designated growth center. Projects include the commuter rail station, Isle Brewers Guild, Division Street development, Tidewater property, Festival Pier, downtown parking garage renovation, and National Park designation and implementation. He spoke to the infrastructure and budgetary challenges facing the City, but said that he is confident that the City has built a solid foundation, in partnership with its business community, and is experiencing a resurgence. 

Business leaders in attendance expressed broad support to build a coalition to advocate for Pawtucket’s 20/20 development vision, increase public awareness, and attract additional financial investments. The coalition will be co-chaired by City Councilor At Large Sandra Cano and Mark House. Cano is Assistant Vice President of Business and Community Development at Navigant Credit Union. House is the Vice President of Environmental Strategies and Management and owner of the mill development at 65 Blackstone Street.

Jan Brodie, Executive Director of the Pawtucket Foundation, facilitated the conversation with attendees regarding the current projects and Pawtucket’s future vision, with specific focus on how the projects can positively impact one another. The Pawtucket Foundation represents businesses and the not-for-profit sector as an advocate and catalyst for downtown, riverfront and transportation gateway enhancements in Pawtucket. The Foundation was organized in 2001 to focus on the vision of revitalizing Pawtucket’s downtown and riverfront, recognizing that Pawtucket has assets such as the Blackstone River and Slater Mill that cities around the world would envy.

“The excitement around Pawtucket these days is palpable. The development we’re seeing take shape has put us at a tipping point to achieve the vision that was at the core of the Pawtucket Foundation’s founding,” said Brodie. “The energy in the room today at Slater Mill was electric. Projects like the commuter rail station that are becoming a reality are laying the groundwork for tremendous economic development in this great city that gave birth to America’s Industrial Revolution.”




April 3, 2017                                                                                

Contact: Lauren Greene

401-728-0500 ext. 358

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