New agreement gives exclusive rights to Pawtucket soccer stadium developer, with financial details pending

Updated at 3:20 p.m. on Sept. 15, 2020.

THE STATE AND CITY OF PAWTUCKET have agreed to give exclusive rights to developer Fortuitous Partners for its proposed $400 million soccer stadium project along the city riverfront. / COURTESY NEW HARBOR GROUP

PAWTUCKET – The state and city have signed an agreement giving Fortuitous Partners exclusive rights to develop a $400 million soccer stadium project along the Pawtucket riverfront, according to a joint statement shared with Providence Business News on Tuesday.

The agreement marks the end to a prolonged due diligence period, but gives the three parties another 60 days to agree upon financial details.

The Tidewater Landing project, slated for three separate riverfront properties in Pawtucket, calls for a 7,500-seat soccer stadium, a 200-room hotel, an indoor sports center, retail, residential and infrastructure improvements. The stadium would be home to a professional United Soccer League Championship team.

The initial 120-day due diligence period was set to end in early April but parties involved agreed to an extension amid delays in administrative and logistical progress due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The project calls for up to $90 million in public money through tax increment financing, combined with private investment. Brett Johnson, founder and principal of Fortuitous Partners, has said previously that commitments from investors could not be secured until he had signed agreements with the city.

The developer has also established a preliminary timeline to lease one of three sites which is owned by National Grid, according to Matt Sheaff, director of communications and stakeholder outreach for R.I. Commerce. The lease will not be signed until final design and permits are granted, according to Lauren Greene, a spokesperson for the developer. 

The Pawtucket City Council in May approved a 50-year ground lease agreement– with the option for two, 25-year extensions – for $1 per year for the city-owned Division Street site. A more finalized agreement will be presented to the Council as part of a project update at its Sept. 23 meeting, according to a letter sent from Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien to the Council, and shared with PBN.

There were no updates on progress toward acquiring the Apex site, which is privately owned, according to Wilder Arboleda, a spokesman for the Pawtucket mayor’s office.

Nancy Lavin is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at Lavin@PBN.com.

This story has been updated to include comment from the Fortuitous Partners and the Pawtucket mayor’s office.

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