Study of McCoy site comes back clean

PAWTUCKET – The end of the Pawtucket Red Sox in the city has now come and gone without a Triple A game played in 2020, and now officials will turn their attention to what’s next for McCoy Stadium on Columbus Avenue.

The city has announced that the geotechnical investigation of the property, funded through Commerce Rhode Island’s Site Readiness Program, has been completed.

The investigation, performed by Fuss & O’Neill, provides needed information on the site conditions at McCoy and ultimately allows for a variety of land uses pending further studies, said Public Works Director Eric Earls.

Chief of Staff Dylan Zelazo said that the basic good news to come out of the study is that the land is buildable, having certain inherent challenges but none that are insurmountable.

Originally built on what was a swampy piece of land at the end of Pond Street, known as Hammond’s Pond, the baseball stadium site has been the subject of numerous proposals, including two proposals for continued minor league baseball and other ideas revealed during a previous request for proposals process.

“This is exciting news as the city has a number of potential options that can be analyzed moving forward,” said Zelazo. “The city and Commerce Rhode Island are re-engaging, and expect to resume the McCoy portion of the RFP review process now that the study has been completed.”

Other uses are in the mix, he said, and it’s now a matter of determining the best use for the property. Public uses “are very much in play,” he said, as are private redevelopment or sports uses.

The previous RFP process turned up the Fortuitous Partners soccer stadium project on the riverfront, but developer Brett Johnson did not make a play for McCoy. He has said he would be interested in at some point creating some sort of athletic center at McCoy.