George’s Games building in Pawtucket being demolished

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PAWTUCKET – George’s Games, Music, and Billiards, a fixture at 101 Main St. overlooking Slater Mill since 1947, is coming down.

The two-story, 48,612-square-foot building, which underwent a renovation for an addition in the 1960s, is on an island of land sandwiched between Main Street, Broadway and School Street. It is part of the larger collection of properties previously merged with the nearby landmark Apex building.

Many of the building’s large windows had been removed as of last week, and crews from Johnston-based AA Wrecking and Asbestos Abatement were preparing for final demolition.

The contract is $694,706, including asbestos abatement, demolition, and removal of the building.

Grace Voll, spokesperson for Mayor Donald Grebien, said that the Peregrine Group has been hired by the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency to conduct studies of the land and to put together a request for proposals for the site. That process would bring some clarity on what it will be used for, but recent trends might suggest more housing directly overlooking the historic mill site and near the new train station and soccer stadium.

The property is not being marketed as a package deal with Apex across the street, but on its own.

Also previously home to the Sawyer School until 2013, the building was once a destination for people looking to buy pool and recreation room tables, classic arcade games, or to rent out the company’s game room.

The former owners of Apex sought and received a zone change from the city in 2015 allowing them to move the George’s Games building into the specialized Riverfront Commons District. That was a concession to make the collection of parcels easier to market to large-scale tenants for redevelopment.

The properties would later be the proposed site for a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox, before that fell through and the team moved out of Rhode Island. One of the main obstacles the team cited was the former owner’s unwillingness to part with the property for a reasonable price. The city later acquired the property for $17.7 million.

George’s owner George Thurber sold the property at 101 Main St. to the former Apex owner, doing business under the name Solibelle LLC, for $343,500 in March of 2015 after it had been closed for some time.

The city’s property tax database shows that the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency purchased it from Solibelle for $850,000 in December of 2021. The property, including building and 57,000 square feet of land, was valued for tax purposes at $965,300 as of last year.

The large Apex property is being targeted for future mixed development.

Director of Administration Dylan Zelazo said last year that the goal of the city after purchasing the properties, including the vacant parcel at 50 Main St. that once held St. George’s Maronite Church before it was destroyed by fire in 2005, was to get the entire area prepared for future work.

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