Tidewater Landing developer secures remaining private funding for stadium

FORTUITOUS PARTNERS ANNOUNCED Wednesday that it has completed its end of private fundraising for the new Tidewater Landing stadium, and construction will restart soon. / COURTESY FORTUITOUS PARTNERS
FORTUITOUS PARTNERS ANNOUNCED Wednesday that it has completed its end of private fundraising for the new Tidewater Landing stadium, and construction will restart soon. / COURTESY FORTUITOUS PARTNERS

PAWTUCKET – The Tidewater Landing developer has secured the remaining private funding needed to construct the new $124 million waterfront soccer stadium in the city, signaling that both the bonding from city and state can move forward with building Rhode Island FC’s future home.

Fortuitous Partners announced late Wednesday that its development team has raised another $14.5 million of private equity over the last two months without taking on additional debt. The additional investment, Fortuitous says, has officially completed the developer’s equity raise for the project. Both the Tidewater Landing stadium and the new United Soccer League club are “fully capitalized,” Fortuitous said.

In total, Fortuitous and Rhode Island FC combined to raise $50 million in private equity for the project. Now, Fortuitous says it has signed commitment letters to fund the private debt required in the terms of the public-private partnership with the city and state.

Plus, construction on the stadium, which mostly halted back in late June, will start up again, but it is unclear when specifically the project will restart. Fortuitous spokesperson Mike Raia confirmed to Providence Business News the project will start again “in the near future,” but did not provide a specific date.

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Financing issues have caused the stadium to delay its opening until 2025. Therefore, Rhode Island FC’s inaugural home schedule next year will be played at Bryant University.

Back on March 23, city officials confirmed to PBN there was a delay in issuing $27 million in public bonds – a major piece in the stadium’s financing plan. The city cited at the time economic uncertainty from rising inflation and a potential banking crisis as to why it was hesitant in issuing the bonds.

Also, the deal involved R.I. Commerce Corp.’s approval for a tax increment financing district to offset development costs, with a public incentive package including $36 million in public borrowing, $14 million in state tax credits and $10 million from the city.

Fortuitous now says the loans from the state and city will close simultaneously with the underwriting of the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency bonds this fall. The developer has secured “all outstanding requirements” that are required by the city’s bond underwriters, Fortuitous said.

In a statement, Fortuitous Founder and Partner and Rhode Island FC Chairman Brett Johnson said Wednesday the global pressures of development are “real,” but his team believed in the project from the very beginning.

“[We] have put tens of millions of private investment into the project to get it started,” Johnson said. “Now that the private funding has been secured, we are excited to complete the stadium through this public-private partnership with the city and state. The Tidewater Landing project will transform downtown Pawtucket and provide state residents with a team that is for all of Rhode Island.”

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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