The Rumor Mill: Pawtucket Mayor Grebien Has To Come Up With 10 Million Of City Money .. And He Can’t Find It
Governor McKee Still Non Committal On Solution
House Speaker Shekarchi Puts The Smackdown On Rescue Money
Commerce Corp Board Member Bill Stone Weighs In
Board Meeting Likely To End In Executive Session-Out Of Public View … Again
Fortuitous Public Relations Flacks New Harbor Refuses To Return Phone Calls-Provide Underlying Super TIF Financial Data
The (seemingly) never ending saga of Pawtucket Rhode Island’s Stadium fortunes will take another turn today, as CommerceRI Board members take up (again) the issue of imperiled Tidewater Landing. Here are a few of the reactions we’ve managed to gather in anticipation of today’s Event.
Statement from Brett Johnson, Founder of Fortuitous Partners:
“We are pleased that the Commerce board will meet Tuesday to consider the updated terms presented by the City and Fortuitous. Based on lengthy discussions between the state, city and Fortuitous, the proposal envisions a city and state share to address the public gap with $20 million financed by the state and $10 million financed by the City, which would be financed through the already approved SuperTIF legislation passed in 2019.
Fortuitous continues to pledge an additional $20.5 million in new private equity and will privately finance $31 million in debt for the stadium. This is above and beyond the previous commitment of $25 million in private equity.
In the new arrangement, Fortuitous has also agreed to:
  • Pay additional property taxes to the City that would allow the public sector to recoup some of their investment;
  • Enter into a profit-sharing arrangement with the city and state, a step that is almost unprecedented in the United States.
The City-Fortuitous proposal also includes provisions that remove uncertainty in later phases of the project that would hinder the critical housing and retail phases of the project from proceeding.
We look forward to continuing to act in good faith, discuss the proposal with the Commerce Board on Tuesday, and ultimately receive a vote to continue the progress and make Tidewater Landing a reality for the residents of the City of Pawtucket and the State of Rhode Island.”
We did catch up with Commerce Corp Board Member Bill Stone:
In a wide ranging conversation, a few remarks stood out:
“It is also extremely unfortunate that the costs have ballooned like the cost of any construction project has ballooned. It puts us in a tight spot, where the Board has previously decided that it would not put money to work on the building of the stadium, but then there’s this concern that if there’s not State Funds available now the project may not go forward at all. So it’s a difficult position to be in … I don’t like being in that position, I prefer for State Funds come at the end of the project”
“I understand that this is an important project … I would like to see a project like this go forward, but I
But I have concerns about the price tag and how it will be paid for”
The Coalition caught up with Governor McKee Friday Evening At The State House …

Embattled Mayor Don Grebien At City Hall, Friday Evening. If there is a higher tax estimate from the “Super Tiff”, why won’t Pawtucket PR Flacks New Harbor Disclose The Underlying Data?


Speaker Shekarchi Lays Down An Emphatic No!

Meanwhile, Exhibit A of the Rhode Island Press Corp hitting Fortuitous with the hard questions … Not. Short of Mr. Yorke’s request for a definition of TIF, there isn’t a single line of questioning referencing the underlying numbers of how the project will “Pay For Itself”. Counter that below, with a more, errr “aggressive line of questioning?”


Finally, a blast from the past, a 2017 interview with Dr. Victor Matheson, on the perils of publicly financed Sports Stadiums ….


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