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Bristol Still Seeking Written Proposal for Walley School Redevelopment

RFP from office of community development still seeking first proposal for reuse of the vacant building on the corner of the Town Common.

Former Walley School
Former Walley School

Bristol is still looking for its first written proposal from someone who wants to lease the former Walley School and redevelop the 18,000-square-foot building on the corner of the Town Common at High and State streets.

“We still have not received a written proposal from anyone,” said Diane Williamson, Bristol community development director. “But the RFP is still alive. If anybody has a good idea, please bring in a proposal.” 

The solicitation for a tenant remains open, Williamson said. The RFP was sent out last spring. 

There was an expression of interest by the Colonial Theatre in Westerly to develop some type of arts collaborative, she said But no written plan has ever been submitted. 

The request for proposal is hoping to identify “a qualified respondent that will redevelop the site with a use or uses that will put the site back into productive use, and that will have a significant economic impact for the community,” according to the document.

Bristol owns the building and cannot sell it, she said. But the town can enter into a long-term lease with a developer.

Criteria that will be used to evaluate a proposal includes the number and types of jobs created, its ability to draw visitors to Bristol and residents downtown, and its ability to serve as a catalyst for other development.

Walley School was decommissioned in the 1990s and has been used only for storage since then. There are two main levels with a functional basement and an attic that is difficult to get into. There is no on-site parking but plenty of street parking and a municipal lot to the east on State Street.

Proposals should be submitted to Williamson at 9 Court St. Drop her an email at dianew@bristolri.us or call her at 401-253-7000 ext. 126 for more information.

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