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Happy Thursday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I’m not ashamed to say that I now know what TikTok is and I kind of love it. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
THE LATEST: Rhode Island was up to 10,205 confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, and 370 residents had died. There were 324 people in the hospital, 86 in intensive care, and 60 were on ventilators.
It wasn’t that long ago that Pawtucket was buzzing about a brand new professional soccer stadium (as part of a broader $400 million downtown development project) and a proposal to build the state’s tallest skyscraper in Providence was coming into clearer focus.
For good reason, the coronavirus has pushed just about every other major issue in Rhode Island to the back burner. But the developers of those high-profile projects say they still intend to move forward, even if the timelines remain blurry.
Known as Tidewater Landing, this project is significantly larger than the 7,500-seat professional soccer stadium for a United Soccer League team. It also includes an indoor sports center and a 200-room hotel, and is pitched as a way to completely transform Pawtucket. Fortuitous Partners is so serious about the project that it recently hired former House Speaker William Murphy as one of its lobbyists.
David Preston, a spokesman for Fortuitous Partners, said the company’s exclusivity agreement with the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation has been extended until May 31. He also said the company is working on finalizing a timeline for the project, completing a market study, and working with National Grid on technical details for the stadium construction site.
Of course, there’s still a long way to go. Lease agreements still need to be reached on all of the parcels for this project. A tax increment financing plan needs to be approved, and the company still plans to make revisions to its master plan. And there’s always the question about what subsidies both the state and city will offer.
“Fortuitous remains bullish about the opportunity at Tidewater Landing,” Preston said.
Hope Point Tower
This is the controversial 46-story skyscraper that would be built across the street from the Wexford building (where the Globe’s Rhode Island team lives). Remember, Mayor Jorge Elorza’s opposition to the project led the state to strip Providence of its zoning authority on the former I-195 land.
New York developer Jason Fane was struggling to meet various state and city deadlines even before the coronavirus hit the state, and the disease has made things more difficult. Jim Malachowski, a spokesman for Fane, said the developer remains in contact with the I-195 Commission about the project.
Still, Fane doesn’t appear to be backing away from the project.
“He has invested considerable money into it and continues to do so,” Malachowski said. “Architects and engineers are still working on aspects of the construction design and are making progress.”
NEED TO KNOW
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⚓ Will students have to attend school in shifts this fall? Will gym be cancelled? State officials say all options are on the table as they begin to reimagine what school will look like if the coronavirus is still prevalent in Rhode Island in a few months.
⚓ Ed Fitzpatrick talked to the first member of the Rhode Island National Guard to donate convalescent plasma after testing positive for the coronavirus. Researchers hope these antibodies will help others fight the virus.
⚓ Governor Gina Raimondo hopes to be testing 10,000 people per day by July.
⚓ To the alarm of disinformation experts, the pandemic is creating the conditions for conspiracy theorists and foreign agents, seasoned political strategists and amateur crusaders alike to sow confusion about the virus, downplay its severity, and instigate discord over the response to the outbreak.
⚓ There’s a good chance that you’re going to start seeing Kennedy for Senate commercials over the next few days, as US Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III is launching an ad blitz that will include the Providence market (because that overlaps with New Bedford and Fall River).
WHAT'S ON TAP TODAY
Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what's happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
⚓ BIRTHDAYS: I’ll be posting Happy Birthday wishes in this space tomorrow. If you have a friend or family member you want to include, be sure to send me an e-mail with their first and last name, and their age.
⚓ Governor Raimondo’s daily coronavirus update is at 1 p.m. today.
⚓ A group of housing advocates will hold a digital press conference this morning to call on state leaders to ensure that housing investments remain in the state budget.
⚓ The Commerce Corporation is holding a Facebook Live session to help small businesses understand the rules and regulations for phase one of the reopening of the economy this weekend.
⚓ Do you ️♥ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here.
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