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Here are the 4 proposals to redevelop Narragansett’s beleaguered Lighthouse Inn

There are four proposals to redevelop the 5-acre Lighthouse Inn property in the Port of Galilee.
There are four proposals to redevelop the 5-acre Lighthouse Inn property in the Port of Galilee.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

PROVIDENCE — The state received four proposals to redevelop the old hotel site across from the Block Island ferry in the Port of Galilee, with ideas ranging from seafood processing operations to a boutique hotel.

The site, most recently called the Lighthouse Inn but which some Rhode Islanders know better as the Dutch Inn, has been closed to hotel operations for several years now. The 5-acre parcel is only used for parking these days, to the chagrin of people who want to do more with the site than let people leave their cars before they scoot off to Block Island.

The land is owned by the Department of Environmental Management, part of the state’s stewardship of the fishing port. It is currently leased by a company called PRI X, a partnership between the Cranston-based Procaccianti Companies and Providence-based Paolino Properties. Some officials and activists in the town of Narragansett have butted heads with both the DEM and the developer over the future of the site.

PRI X itself, and the town of Narragansett, both submitted proposals. The Department of Environmental Management and PRI X will pick the winner, with a decision date set for Dec. 15. The DEM said it’s committed to a plan that supports the state’s commercial fishing interests. It’s a critical industry in the state, particularly the Port of Galilee, home to nearly 200 fishermen as well as associated industries.

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Here’s what they are proposing:

Quonset Area Aqua Development Inc., in conjunction with iCell Aqua Inc.

iCell Aqua Inc. and its affiliate, Quonset Area Aqua Development Inc., say water processing is holding the state’s seafood processing industry back. Lots of seafood is actually frozen and shipped to China, where it’s processed into value-added products here, because companies can’t process water byproducts.

The companies propose building “a combination seafood processing facility and a centralized water purification, recycle and protein recovery facility.” The new $30 million facility they’d like to build could process thousands of tons of fresh fish per year, while cleaning and recycling 300 million gallons of water. Up to a quarter of the site could still be used for parking. There would also be 18,000 square feet of office space on three floors.

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PRI X

The PRI X plan would involve two phases: First, redeveloping the front section of the site and marketing it to local businesses for things like coffee shops, breakfast joints, convenience items, ice cream shops and other uses for the pedestrian traffic in the area. The plan would remove the front parking area and replace it with landscaping, park benches and “history tablets.”

The second phase would involve a 20 to 40 room boutique hotel — the Galilee Inn, in the conceptual rendering. To make it financially feasible, the developers would need a 99-year lease, the proposal said.

The town of Narragansett

The town of Narragansett describes its proposal as “ambitious, bold and complex”: A 75- to 100-room hotel with a restaurant, event hall and gallery; a 400-car parking deck; a public plaza; and a mixed-use building for offices and housing. A third of the land could be used for open space, marine storage, pickleball courts, festivals or future buildings.

The town even proposes taking over parking operations there immediately from PRI X. It would take about five to six years, which includes time to find a development partner.

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The Atlantic Red Crab Co./Narragansett Crab Company

The most bare-bones of the proposals, Jon Williams of the Narragansett Crab Company presented a few ideas, rather than a full proposal. Williams, writing on the stationery of another company he founded, the New Bedford-based Atlantic Red Crab Co., said the site could be used as a complex or fishermen’s terminal, with multiple tenants involved in the fishing industry and the environment. There, those involved in the industry could showcase their accomplishments in sustainable fisheries; collaborate on research; and brainstorm on things like climate change.

“This facility is perfectly suited for the public to interact with the industry as well as enjoy the seafood that is landed in the Port,” Williams wrote.


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