by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor
The state of Rhode Island has received the U.S. District Court’s approval to purchase 82 acres of the historic Rocky Point property in Warwick for $9.65 million. According to the state Department of Environmental Management, the Court’s decision will allow the development of a state park 10 miles from Downtown Providence.
The transaction is expected to close in about one month. The acquisition will be funded through the $10 million Open Space bond approved by Rhode Island voters in 2010.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, acting as receiver for Moneta Capital, is the current owner of the property. “The Court’s decision today brings the State of Rhode Island significantly closer to successfully acquiring and preserving this iconic property,” noted Governor Lincoln Chafee.
Once the state acquires the land, DEM will develop a work plan and secure financing for the reconversion of the property into a public park.
Dating back the late 1840s, Rocky Point Park was a popular amusement park on the Narragansett Bay side of Warwick. The approximately 120-acre property closed in 1995 and its owners filed for bankruptcy the following year.
In 2007, with state and federal support, the City of Warwick acquired a 41-acre waterfront parcel of the Rocky Point land. That redeveloped property is now open for public use.