A Pawtucket property owner is urging city leaders to include downtown improvement in the plan to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Developer Morris Nathanson says too many downtown storefronts are empty, and it’s detracting from the proposal for a ballpark on the Pawtucket riverfront. Nathanson is asking Pawtucket’s mayor to make downtown redevelopment a priority.
According to Nathanson, the city should also focus on artists and millennials to fill the many empty storefronts downtown.
“This is not to detract any energy from the PawSox,” Nathanson explained. “It has nothing to do with that. I mean, you can walk and chew gum at the same time. We have to do that. We can no longer ignore the downtown.”
Nathanson owns a mill redevelopment in downtown Pawtucket, where city and state leaders are considering a public subsidy to help the PawSox build a new stadium. He has championed the arts as a way to spark Pawtucket’s economy.
“The way we developed the mills in Pawtucket by bringing the artists in to use these spaces and making it very active,” Nathanson explained. “We can use a very similar way of dealing with the downtown.”
He spoke last week at a presentation with PawSox owners, who are seeking approval for public subsidies to build a new stadium.