With ‘components’ of soccer stadium construction halted, project’s immediate future unclear

Updated at 4:56 p.m.

FORTUITOUS PARTNERS spokesperson Mike Rain said Thursday that 'certain components' of the $124 million Tidewater Landing soccer stadium construction have demobilized. / COURTESY FORTUITOUS PARTNERS
FORTUITOUS PARTNERS spokesperson Mike Rain said Thursday that 'certain components' of the $124 million Tidewater Landing soccer stadium construction have demobilized. / COURTESY FORTUITOUS PARTNERS

PAWTUCKET – “Certain components” of the $124 million Tidewater Landing soccer stadium construction are stopping, Mike Raia, spokesperson for project developer Fortuitous Partners, confirmed in an email Thursday to Providence Business News.

But what that involves and what other work is continuing remain unclear as the developer looks to secure financing to finish the project.

Raia’s acknowledgement that at least some work has stopped is the latest in an ongoing saga surrounding the future home of Rhode Island FC, where financing issues have caused the stadium to delay its opening until 2025. As a result, Rhode Island FC will be playing its inaugural home schedule next year at Bryant University.

Raia said the decision for construction workers to disband was determined after the developers analyzed the work that was completed at the site along the banks of the Pawtucket River and “the amount of private funding already allocated to construction.” He also said other construction components to build the 10,500-seat soccer stadium are ongoing and Fortuitous has invested “tens of millions of dollars” in private funding to start construction and advance it up to this point.

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The Rhode Island Current noted back in April that Fortuitous spent $25 million in private investment on the construction site.

Raia also said Fortuitous is still working with city and state officials and expects to finish the private and debt financing for the stadium project “in the near term.” But he didn’t immediately provide a timeframe as to when specifically such financing will be completed and how much is left to be raised by the developer.

Raia also did not immediately respond to questions from PBN as to what specific work has been completed on the stadium site to date and what other aspects of the project are continuing. It is also unclear if the demobilization at the site could cause some delays that could impact the stadium’s opening, if there are any concerns from those involved with the project about potential construction cost increases or when construction crews will fully remobilize at the site.

Raia did say the developer is “fully up to date” with all accounts payable from the construction partner.

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.

(RECASTS lede to tighten.)

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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