Pawtucket – The Cities of Pawtucket and Central Falls have announced the selection of McCabe Enterprises as the consultant to produce a joint economic development plan, workforce and business development assessment, and feasibility study for a training and innovation center.
“We welcome McCabe Enterprises and are pleased to continue moving forward on developing future economic growth in the city and adapting in a post-COVID economic environment,” said Mayor Donald R. Grebien. “Going on, understanding the workforce and job training needs of Pawtucket residents will be a critical part of these plans. We will seek to identify existing skill and training gaps in order to best work with our public and private partners to fill these gaps with new job training initiatives.”
“Many of our beloved local businesses need support recovering and re-gaining momentum from this pandemic. Our Central Falls businesses are the core of our community, giving our residents jobs, giving character to our commercial districts, and driving economic growth,” said Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera. “Through this planning process, we’ll identify the true needs of our business community, and specific ways we can support their growth, as well as the economic growth of our city.”
In July 2020, the Cities of Pawtucket and Central Falls were awarded $150,000 in grant funds from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support a joint economic development plans for both Cities. In October, Pawtucket released the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the project and received three bids from economic development consultants, ultimately selecting McCabe Enterprises.
The Pawtucket Foundation, Pawtucket and Central Falls will engage with local business and workforce development leaders to create a detailed action plan for future economic development. This project will include an analysis of and recommendations for the Pawtucket Downtown and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) District surrounding the incoming train station. The plans will also specifically look at the 280 Rand Street, the property in the TOD District where several large mill buildings burned down in March 2020 and work with the property owners to explore future development options and opportunities.
“Pawtucket has major, exciting new projects underway, that involve serious investment from governmental and private sectors,” said Pawtucket Foundation Executive Director Jan Brodie. “This EDA study will look at how to leverage that investment and ensure that the economic benefits are enjoyed by the residents, small businesses, craftspeople, and those most impacted by COVID-19 within the two cities. The timing for this economic look forward is now.”
McCabe Enterprises and their team, comprised of ConsultEcon Inc., PARE Corporation, and Paul Lukez Architecture, will also identify the top investment opportunities in both cities and marketing strategies that could be best employed to attract additional private investment and development. This project will capitalize off of existing development activity and work to connect the Tidewater Project currently underway along the riverfront with the Pawtucket Downtown and the Pawtucket-Centrals Transit hub opening in mid-2022.
The project is expected to take approximately one year to complete.