images of this Property
25 images: Press to view larger or scroll sideways to see more. Contributions from the Pawtucket Library on Flickr and Marc Doughty
About this Property
Reason for Demolition
The City of Pawtucket purchased this property in 2021 in the hopes of making it part of a larger redevelopment package. A larger set of parcels for redevelopment can attract developers with larger visions. They are hoping that developers hoping to capitalize on the City’s investment in Tidewater Landing will see these large parcels as an opportunity.
Georges Games, Music, and Billiards (sometimes called just Georges Games & Music and sometimes called Georges Games & Music & Billiards) has been on the ground floor of this location for quite some time. One business listing used a business start date of 1945, and they could have been at this location since then. OpenCorporates.com does not have a listing for this business, however, for any of its names.
The Sawyer School was also located here, which was offered two certificate programs in office information systems and medical assistance. They closed across the state in early 2013.1
George Thurber sold the property in 2015 after the business had been closed for some time. We are waiting for the demolition equipment to arrive on site.
No formal history has been compiled. The Providence Historical Aerial Viewer shows that it was built between the 1939 and 1951 photos, though the 1939 photo may show that part of this building was in place. We have not yet been able to find this building on any cadastral maps.
In a 1902 Sanborn insurance map, Volume 1, Plate 77 (page 82) this triangular parcel has many wooden structures and a few conjoined four-story brick structures, but none in the shape and size of the current building.
An undated photo in the collection of the Pawtucket Library labels one of our early images “The Berry Building” and includes what might be an earlier photo of a structure that was in this same location. We’d love to know more if you have any information.
In the News
Former George’s Games to be demolished
by Ethan Shorey
Valley Breeze | August 24, 2022
City officials will be seeking bids from companies interested in being paid to demolish the former George’s Games & Music building at 101 Main St., which is part of the larger Apex Development property targeted for future redevelopment.
As part of a previous five-year note on the city’s purchase from Apex owners last December, Apex has a year and a half lease-back on the Apex property itself and a three-year lease-back on its tire center, located across from George’s Games and diagonally across from Apex.
Chief of Staff Dylan Zelazo said the goal of the city, after purchasing the properties on all four corners, including the vacant parcel at 50 Main St. that once held St. George’s Maronite Church before it was destroyed by fire in 2005, is to get the entire area prepared for future work.
Though the city has been focused for the past six months or so on addressing the inflation-induced cost escalation related to the start of the Tidewater Landing project across the river, said Zelazo, officials also want the Apex property and its surrounding parcels to be as ready as possible for their own future request for proposals on redevelopment, which is why the George’s building across from the Slater Mill is coming down as “the next first step.”
Seeking authorization from the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency on demolition bids represents “good progress,” said Zelazo, as another site will be prepared for ultimate redevelopment as part of wider economic development efforts along the long-stagnant riverfront.
“The city is excited and appreciates the work of the CommerceRI board and the leadership of Gov. McKee on moving the Pawtucket Tidewater Development project to fruition,” said Mayor Donald Grebien in a statement this week. “This gateway project will redevelop the waterfront investing over $350 million in private funding.”
The revitalization, he said, will now allow the City Planning and Redevelopment teams to focus on the Apex properties and surrounding areas “to continue the renaissance plan.”
The Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency “has begun the process of all preliminary steps in preparation” of issuing a request for proposals for 101 Main St. demolition, said the mayor.
“The plan has already been moved forward by the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency and Historic District Commission for input and is expected in front of the Riverfront Commission in the next month, which will be followed by the assessment and approval of steps for remediation. We are looking forward to the future of the site and redevelopment in the city.”
The negotiations on purchasing the Apex properties were long and arduous, but the city now controls a property. The former department store land and surrounding properties were tabbed for a new PawSox stadium, but plans were abandoned in part because the team owners were not optimistic about being able to acquire the properties at a reasonable price.
The former owners of Apex sought and received a zone change in 2015 allowing them to move the George’s Games building into their specialized Riverfront Commons District, an attempt, they said at the time, to make the group of parcels easier to market to large-scale tenants for redevelopment.
George’s owner George Thurber sold the property at 101 Main St. for $343,500 in March of 2015 after it had been closed for some time. The store, which once sold billiard tables and various other arcade and recreation room games, did business for decades during the height of the downtown area.
Captured December 26, 2022 from https://www.valleybreeze.com/news/former-george-s-games-to-be-demolished/article_f6fce53c-2224-11ed-84c5-cf7ee8473cf6.html
Borg, Linda. “Sawyer School in Providence closes, leaving students in the dark; RI State Police, AG contacted.” Providence Journal (RI), All ed., sec. breaking_news, 2 Jan. 2013. NewsBank: America’s News, infoweb.newsbank.com/apps/news/document-view?p=NewsBank&docref=news/15242148CFC00F08. Accessed 26 Dec. 2022. ↩