PROVIDENCE – Attention developers: this prime plot of land in the Port of Galilee, located across from the ferry to Block Island, could be yours to reinvent.
On Thursday, the State Department of Environmental Management, which owns the land, asked developers to come up with ideas for doing something with the former Lighthouse Inn on Great Island Road in Narragansett.
It has plenty of elbow room – up to 5.03 acres – and is part of a bustling seaport, with a nearby state beach and several restaurants. And for the locals, just about anything would be better than its current use: a closed hotel that smells like a kennel for seagulls and surface parking for ferry users.
Any developer will need to consider the interests of the commercial fishing industry, which is a huge economic driver in the region. The Department of Environmental Management underlined this point by announcing the search for a developer.
“DEM is committed to working on a plan for the property that preserves and enhances the Port of Galilee as an asset that serves and supports the interests of Rhode Island’s commercial fishery,” said the acting director of the department. , Terry Gray, in a press release.
They will also have to take climate change into account. The first floor of living space may require 11 feet of clearance above grade to account for flooding. DEM is working with the company renting the site, which is part of the Procaccianti companies, in order to interest the developers. The deadline for submission is November 15th.
The redevelopment of the Lighthouse Inn – many call it by an even older name, the Dutch Inn – has proven controversial in Narragansett. The current hotel has been closed since 2015. Procaccianti brought several ideas to the city for redeveloping the plot, but received a frosty reception. Some in Narragansett, like City Councilor Ewa Dzwierzynski, said the city could do better than what Procaccianti is proposing. Among the objections: too much parking, which does not serve the people of Narragansett.
On Thursday, Dzwierzynski was optimistic that something could be done with the old Lighthouse Inn, although she said the city had to play a role.
“I’m hoping for a quality mixed-use development that is likely to be more suitable for services, tourism and recreation,” she said in an email.