Letter: There are better uses for Robin Rug than apartments

Posted 6/29/22

I pass by these buildings many times a week on my bicycle rides and I can think of many ways to use this land and none of them involve condos or apartments.

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Letter: There are better uses for Robin Rug than apartments

Posted

To the editor:

Former President Ronald Regan said to the Communist Party General Secretary in 1987, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." This more or less summarizes my feelings regarding the proposal to develop the so-called Yarn Mill into condos or apartments. A proverb says, "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Developers want to develop and turn a profit on their investment.

There's not anything necessarily wrong with that but in the case of this project, I feel it's a lose-lose situation for the Town of Bristol. The Phoenix editorial of May 19 discussing possible options and who would benefit from this project was right on point where it said. "The town's other option would be to reject the developer's plans and purchase the property for itself."

I pass by these buildings many times a week on my bicycle rides and I can think of many ways to use this land and none of them involve condos or apartments. I would demolish most of the buildings and open up the vista to our waterfront and harbor and create some sort of waterfront park. With the northern-most Robin Rug building, perhaps the town should consider a relocated and expanded Ever-Ready Fire Station where additional apparatus could be housed.

As someone who's been involved with performing and listening to live music, I feel there is a need for a dedicated venue with good acoustics and adequate seating in our town, not just for music but possibly theatrical and cinematic performances. Fall River has The Narrows Center for the Arts, New Bedford has The Zeiterion, West Kingston has the Courthouse Center, East Greenwich has The Odeum. What does Bristol have? Bupkis, that's what! We could have had the Pastime, but I digress. A performance space would attract visitors and be an economic benefit to many businesses such as shops and restaurants. Anything that might be done with this property should be done, as Patrick Borash has stated in his letters, being mindful of future sea level rise or storm surges.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to keep our waterfront open and for the people of Bristol, not just to be granted permission to use somebody else's boardwalk in order to view what's ours. I call on our town officials to do the right thing and reject the developer's plans. Future generations of Bristolians will thank you for it.

Stephen R. Mascena
381 High St.

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