By Kim Kalunian, WPRO News
Lovers of the now defunct Rocky Point Amusement Park are a step closer to having access to the coastal stretch that was once home to iconic attractions like the Palladium, Shore Dinner Hall and the salt water pool.
On Wednesday, The United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island approved the State’s offer to purchase the 82 remaining acres of Rocky Point for $9.65 million.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), acting as the Receiver for Moneta Capital -- the former owner -- was granted final approval in federal District Court Wednesday afternoon, setting in motion a 30-day appeals period. After the appeals period ends, the state can close on the land.
“The Court’s decision today brings the State of Rhode Island significantly closer to successfully acquiring and preserving this iconic property,” said Governor Lincoln Chafee in a statement. “Rocky Point, one of Rhode Island’s most beloved natural assets, holds many special memories of the past. I look forward to it becoming available for all Rhode Islanders to enjoy.”
Since the closure of the amusement park on the grounds in 1995, Rocky Point has been in a state of flux. In previous years, there were two failed attempts to turn the land into a housing development. In the early 2000's, vandalism and arson were problems for the abandoned park, and demolition on the remaining structures began in 2007.
Later that year, the city of Warwick purchased 41 acres of Rocky Point through a $2.2 million federal grant and $1.2 million in state funding. Since then, some of the land has been converted for public use, and it now includes a public parking area and a waterfront walkway.
In September of 2012, the SBA announced that they would accept the state's offer of $9.75 million.
The Rocky Point property in Warwick has a rich history, and has been a major attraction since 1850.