PAWTUCKET – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s purchase of an additional 6 acres of property near an ongoing new commuter train station will more than adequately solve the parking problems here.
City and state officials this week confirmed RIDOT’s purchase of First National Development. Industry standards say that almost 250 parking spaces can fit on 1 acre of land, so the space here allows for over 1,000 spaces, well beyond what is needed.
Director of Commerce Jeanne Boyle said the land is on the corner of Pine Street and Goff Avenue. RIDOT had already acquired around 2 acres on the same land for the development of the commuter train and transit hub, she said.
Charles St. Martin, spokesperson for RIDOT, said the purchase will suffice for the station’s parking needs “on the first day of operation next summer”. The project is under design, he said, so the exact square footage has not yet been determined, but it will take between 2 and 3 acres of the 6-acre plot.
“The plot will provide space for future expansion if needed,” he said.
When asked about a price, St. Martin said RIDOT was following condemnation procedures and had the property valued, he said, and that payment for the work had been made to the owner.
“Negotiations with the owner on the final settlement are ongoing,” he said. “The evaluation and the final cost will be made public once the transaction is complete. “
Design work for the parking lot has started, he said, and construction will begin in the spring to be ready for summer service.
According to the city’s real estate records, RIDOT officially acquired the triangle-shaped property at 280 Pine Street on September 15, although it does not list a purchase price. First National, or Beaufoy Development, bought it for $ 1.5 million in 2017, according to records.
The property is assessed for tax purposes at $ 952,000.
The breeze reported in 2016 that First National representatives were planning a major mixed-use development next to the train station at 280 Pine Street, which appears to be irrelevant with this land sale. Planning director Sue Mara said there had been no further action on the project.
First National is also completing several factory redevelopment projects near the station, so it is in the company’s best interest to fix the parking issues here and make the station as functional as possible.
Boyle said in an article last week that authorities were providing 200 parking spaces on the first day of the station’s opening, with 200 more spaces to be put online at a later date.