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NEW: State Completes Purchase of Rocky Point Property

Thursday, March 28, 2013


For almost a century and a half (1847-1995), Rocky Point Park was a highly popular amusement park that Rhode Islanders flocked to in Warwick during the summer months. Since closing its doors in the mid 90's, many have wondered what would happen to that prime real estate.

In 2008, the city of Warwick secured a federal grant to purchase about half of the 82 acres, much of which has views of Narragansett Bay.

On November 2, 2010, a ballot proposal passed to issue state funding to "acquire the title to land in and around what used to be Rocky Point Park to establish the land as a public park."

On September 17, 2012, the Small Business Administration accepted the state's offer to purchase the Rocky Point property to be developed into a State Park.

This morning, in a closing held at Warwick City Hall, the Department of Environmental Management completed the purchase of the remaining 82 acres of land at Rocky Point from the U.S. Small Business Administration, as Receiver for Moneta Capital.  This will allow for the creation of a new coastal state park at Rocky Point that will benefit all Rhode Islanders.

The follow city and state officials issued statements about the purchase.

Governor Lincoln Chafee

“This has been a long process, but I am proud to say that the State of Rhode Island is now able to preserve Rocky Point for future generations,” said Governor Lincoln Chafee. “This iconic property, one of Rhode Island’s most beloved natural assets, holds many special memories of the past, and we will need to carefully plan for its future. The Chafee Administration will continue to work collaboratively with the City of Warwick to develop the best possible use of Rocky Point for the people of Rhode Island.”

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian

“This is a fantastic day for the City of Warwick, the State of Rhode Island, and the thousands of people who hold Rocky Point near to their hearts,” said Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian. “This purchase represents more than a decade of patience, perseverance, and hard work from many people who were determined to preserve this iconic property. We are very grateful, too, to the voters who overwhelmingly approved the bond to make the purchase possible. The City looks forward to continuing our partnership with the Department of Environmental Management and other stakeholders to restore Rocky Point, which is such a vital part of our state’s history and culture.”

US Senator Jack Reed

“Today we are closing one chapter of Rocky Point’s history and opening another. This is truly a landmark acquisition. Now, every Rhode Islander owns a piece of Rocky Point. This is a special place and we want to ensure future generations can share this beautiful area with their families,” said Senator Jack Reed, who, as a member of the Appropriations Committee, secured two Congressional earmarks which totaled $2.2 million in federal funding for the preservation of Rocky Point. When efforts to sell a portion of the property came up short, Reed worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to ensure the funding he originally secured would remain available.

While there is still work to be done to make the area safe before opening to the public, DEM looks forward to making portions of the property available for public access within the next 12 months.


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