A previous zoning decision could allow the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) to construct a new ballpark at a downtown site.
With a recent feasibility study by Pendulum raising serious doubts that the McCoy Stadium site is viable for a new or renovated ballpark, the PawSox could move forward with plans for a new ballpark elsewhere in the city. One of the sites that has reportedly been eyed by the team is the property of an Apex department store in downtown Pawtucket.
More planning needs to be finalized, but city officials wanted to ensure that the site is properly zoned for a ballpark or similar structure. A preliminary analysis revealed earlier this week shows that a 2015 zoning change, which included the Apex site, would allow for a new ballpark. More from The Valley Breeze:
As part of that 2015 zone change, the George’s Games building at 101 Main St. was lumped into a unified district with the Apex building and two other properties across the street.
According to the Pawtucket Zoning Ordinance, the purpose of the Riverfront Commons District is to encourage use and development of previously developed properties at and around Apex by promoting flexibility in use and design while being cognizant of its close proximity to the river.
Though baseball stadiums aren’t mentioned specifically in the ordinance, it allows general commercial uses, education facilities, multi-residential uses, personal services, business services, office uses, automotive repairs, wholesale uses, industrial space, and storage.
At last Wednesday’s council meeting, PawSox General Manager Dan Rea said the team is still “digesting the numbers” from the feasibility study, but called the estimates of $68 million for renovations at McCoy and $78 million for a new stadium at the existing site “significant and sobering.”
It seems that, for both the team and the city, discussions are in the early phases. The study from Pendulum was just made public last month, and a great deal of steps will need to be completed in order for the property to be acquired and the ballpark to move forward.
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