PawSox principal owner Larry Lucchino late Wednesday afternoon walked among the weeds of the Victory Place property in the Jewelry District as he looked for options to the team’s search for a new ballpark site.
Lucchino decided to look at the privately-owned Victory Place site in the Jewelry District, he said, after the people who packed a Tuesday forum on the Pawtucket Red Sox ballpark plan once again brought up the site as an alternative to the team’s preferred Providence River site.
Months after the Pawtucket Red Sox first raised the prospect of building a baseball stadium in downtown Providence, discussions between state and federal officials continue about whether it’s permissible to commit the team’s preferred site to a private use.
If the site set aside years ago to become a public park is used for a commercial enterprise, the Federal Highway Administration would ask the state to repay the fair market value of that land, FHWA spokesman Doug Hecox told The Providence Journal.
The Feds aren’t liking giving the PawSox free land I guess. Feds might also be looking for money if we don’t end up building the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge, sigh.
A proposed ballpark for the PawSox in Providence and the vacant so-called Superman Building might seem to have little in common. Yet both raise questions involving economic development and the possible use of taxpayer subsidies.
Here’s a look at how the two projects stack up.
RI Future: Providence Riverfront I-195 Land Forum Audio
With over 200 people in attendance, Providence’s Point Street Dueling Pianos ended up being a hot ticket on Tuesday evening. The event, a forum about the proposed construction of a baseball stadium for the PawSox hosted by Harvard Business School Association of Southeastern New England and Leadership Rhode Island. In favor of the stadium were Syd McKenna, Listening Tour regular and Community Outreach Director for the team, as well as Patti Doyle, the team’s spokesperson. In opposition was Ethan Kent, Senior Vice President of Project for Public Spaces in New York, and Sharon Steele, Quality of Life Chair and Past President of the Jewelry District Association. The overwhelming majority of the room was in opposition and remained unconvinced by the end of the evening.
Visit the link to listen to the audio.