Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 11-13-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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Page 6 of 111

PAWTUCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | NOVEMBER 13-19, 2019 PAWTUCKET 7 PAWTUCKET – Pawtucket Foundation Executive Director Jan Brodie, in a letter to the editor this week, is praising the recently approved master plan for a major mixed-use development at 71 Dexter St., near Walgreens and the Lynch Arena. The Peyser Real Estate Group's seven-story residential and commercial project is the first approved for the Conant Thread District in the area of a new com- muter rail station under the new Joint Planning Commission, a Pawtucket and Central Falls review board, Brodie noted. "The Peyser Real Estate Group's project represents so much of the economic development the two cities have been hoping for with the advent of the commuter rail stop, including jobs, new residents, increased tax revenue and the transformation of a highly visible, long vacant property," said Brodie, who sits on the commission. Even better, said Brodie, the Peyser Group is respected for its investments in projects within the context of the community to which they will belong, "and whose proj- ects look beyond their property line in a true public-private part- nership." "Conant Thread is a district within an urban fabric. It is not any one project, and its geographic outline is permeable," she said. "Its vision reflects the city and the northeast region it sits in, as a mix- ture of uses, of incomes, of ages, of day and night activity, of people – walking, biking, taking the train or bus to work and to entertainment." She called this first project of the Joint Planning Commission "a win for Conant Thread," benefitting existing residents and newcomers alike. According to meeting minutes from the Planning Commission's approval on Oct. 22, the Peyser Group proposal calls for demoli- tion of an existing cold storage warehouse structure and construc- tion of a new mixed-use commer- cial and residential structure with structured parking. The designs presented were conceptual in nature, as this project is still early in the process. Leland Peyser, of the Peyser Group, presented the vision for the development, saying he has worked in historically underin- vested communities such as Newark, New Jersey, and is looking at the area around the com- muter rail station at the Pawtucket/ Central Falls line for potential development. Peyser said he has built hotels, supermarkets, apartment buildings and mixed-use developments in the past and is looking at build- ing a retail plaza on the ground floor with 110-150 apartment units above. The development would include approximately 175,000 square feet of space, with roughly 170 parking spaces. It would include amenities such as restaurants, coffee shops, other retail and a rooftop garden. Commission member Leslie Moore, who is also the downtown Pawtucket developer behind the Still on Main indoor mini mall, noted that the rents will be higher at this building than the surround- ing area, raising concerns that it's not a mixed-income project. Peyser responded that the project does not include affordable hous- ing components, but the develop- ers are looking at mixed-income projects in the future and are open to including local businesses in the new development, particularly those of cultural interest and niche businesses to appeal to the local population. Members generally offered sup- port for the project, which still has a number of approvals to receive. They and city planners noted the project's consistency with local goals for the area and the city as a whole. Senior Planner Jay Rosa said it accomplishes the compre- hensive plan goals of increasing residential density, encouraging infill development reflecting the character of the area, and mak- ing Pawtucket a high-performance local economy with a diversity of employment opportunities, among others. Prior to preliminary plan review, the applicant shall demonstrate coordination with various agencies, as well as City Council approval for acquisition of some city-owned land, among other items. The mas- ter plan passed unanimously. Pawtucket Foundation praises Dexter Street project By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor BRODIE Dining Guide Open 7 Days 7 a.m.-3 p.m. 140 Newport Ave., Rumford 434-8899 Present this coupon at our East Providence location only MONDAY-FRIDAY Buy One Meal Get Second Meal 1/2 Price (Half price taken off lower priced meal. Only 1 coupon may be redeemed per visit. May not be combined with any other promotion) Excludes holidays. Excludes drinks. Dine-In only. 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