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PROVIDENCE — Attention, developers: This prime parcel of land in the Port of Galilee situated across from the ferry to Block Island could be yours to reimagine.

On Thursday, the state Department of Environmental Management, which owns the land, asked developers to come forward with ideas to do something with the old 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 locals, pretty much anything would be better than its current use: A closed-up hotel that smells like a kennel for seagulls and a surface parking lot for ferry users.


Any developer would have to consider the interests of the commercial fishing industry, which is a huge economic engine in the area. The Department of Environmental Management emphasized that point in announcing the effort to find 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 Rhode Island’s commercial fishing interest,” the department’s acting director, Terry Gray, said in a news release.

They’ll also have to consider climate change. The first floor of occupiable space might need 11 feet of clearance off the ground to account for flooding. The DEM is working with the company that leases the site, part of Procaccianti Companies, in the effort to interest developers. The submission deadline is Nov. 15.

The redevelopment of the Lighthouse Inn — many call it by an even older name, the Dutch Inn — has proved controversial in Narragansett. The actual hotel has been closed since 2015. Procaccianti has put forward several ideas to the town to redevelop the parcel, but has gotten a frosty reception. Some in Narragansett, like Councilwoman Ewa Dzwierzynski, have said the town can do better than what Procaccianti is offering. Among the objections: too much parking, which doesn’t serve the people of Narragansett.


On Thursday, Dzwierzynski was upbeat about the possibility of doing something with the old Lighthouse Inn, even as she said the town needed to play a role.

“I am hoping for a quality, mixed-use development that is likely best suited for service, tourism and recreation uses,” she said in an email.

Brian Amaral can be reached at brian.amaral@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bamaral44.