PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island’s first food hall is expected to open next year, 12 News has learned.
The Marsella Development Corporation received $1 million in redeemable tax credits from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Monday night to build the food hall, which will be located in the lower level of Union Station.
“The food hall is an incredibly important investment in Rhode Island,” President Christopher Marsella said in a statement. “We are looking forward to the positive impact it will have by providing business opportunities for local restaurateurs, reinvigorating downtown Providence, providing additional jobs and revenue in the city and ensuring the viability of an important historic property for generations to come.”
Marsella announced his intentions to build the state’s first food hall last spring. The scope of the food hall has been downsized since then due to challenges with the supply chain and “those that arise when working with a historic building.”
The original plan for the food hall included 13 vendor spaces, vendor carts, two bars and indoor seating for approximately 250 people. Marsella said the new, more “cost-effective,” plan consists of seven vendor spaces, vendor carts, a central bar and indoor seating for more than 300 people.
The construction of an outdoor plaza to accommodate al fresco dining remains unchanged from the original plan.
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Marsella expects renovations to Union Station will cost roughly $19.5 million, which is significantly less than the initial $23.5 million price tag.
Construction will begin “in earnest” this summer, according to Marsella, with the food hall expected to open by spring 2024.
Marsella said the upper floors of Union Station will remain under the existing ownership of its current tenants, which include the Rhode Island Foundation and The Public’s Radio.