WORCESTER – While hope still remains for Worcester to land the Pawtucket Red Sox and build a stadium near Kelley Sq., the City is now working towards exploring other opportunities to stimulate business growth and development in the Canal District.
In a statement released to ThisWeekinWorcester.com, Worcester’s City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. said, “The City’s discussions with the Pawtucket Red Sox are on-going as we simultaneously explore the opportunities for the revitalization of the Green Island area and furthering the growth and success of the Canal District.”
When asked to further comment on what opportunities the city is exploring and if there’s a “Plan B” in place in case the Pawsox don’t come to Worcester, Augustus didn’t directly respond to those questions, only saying that the PawSox are the “primary focus.”
With both Pawtucket and Providence vying for the PawSox, Rhode Island legislatures held several public forums over the course of the winter. However, there are no future forums scheduled and when asked if there was any fear that the Rhode Island politicians are waiting until after the state’s Fall elections to vote on keeping the PawSox in Rhode Island, Augustus wouldn’t comment.
In January, the Rhode Island senate authorized an $83 million project to construct a new stadium in Pawtucket — with the state and city paying $23 million and $15 million, respectively.
In October, ThisWeekinWorcester.com reported that the City of Worcester and the PawSox ownership group are working on an agreement to relocate the team and construct a new baseball stadium — reportedly a $72 million project. According to a source with the knowledge of the negotiations, the state and Worcester would contribute a combined $52 million to the project.
One immediate opportunity in the Canal District for the City to promote is a market and housing development facing Kelley Sq that is scheduled to start construction this Spring. The land is owned by Allen Fletcher and the building [pictured below] will feature nearly 50 apartments in the top floors and food vendors on the ground floor.