Redevelopment plan crumbles for former Shooters site

Photo by Susan Campbell

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The deteriorating shell of a building on the Providence waterfront will stay that way for now after plans to redevelop the property fell through.

Gail Mastrati from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) confirmed Wednesday the agency cut ties with Bowl Arts, LLC, a community group seeking to re-purpose the former site of Shooters nightclub.

Bowl Arts had been negotiating a long-term lease with the state on the 1.7-acre property with hopes of building a new concert and performing arts venue there.

Photo by Susan Campbell
Photo by Susan Campbell

The DEM issued a statement Wednesday, saying they were “enthusiastic and optimistic that the proposal put forth by Bowl Arts, Inc. was a viable use of the property and would energize this important site on the Providence waterfront, the inability of both parties to execute an agreement led us to this decision.”

The statement went on to say the department will now seek further options to redevelop the land for public use.

The co-chairs of Head of the Bay Gateway, an organization that’s been advocating for the project, said they were disappointed to hear the deal fell through, but remain optimistic the redevelopment will happen sooner rather than later.

“Rome didn’t get built in a day, and neither will this space, but the vision is critical,” said David Riley.

Shooters closed down in 2000 and the former nightclub has been a vacant canvas for graffiti ever since. Taxpayers approved a referendum in 2010 to purchase the property for $3.2 million, and the building was then demolished in October of 2011.

Bowl Arts executive Sam White declined to comment.

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