AP News

RI to buy 82 acres of former Rocky Point for park

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — The state announced Monday that it has reached an agreement to buy 82 acres of the former Rocky Point Amusement Park in Warwick, tripling the size of the public open space there.

The state plans to spend $9.65 million for the parcel — which has panoramic views of Narragansett Bay — out of a $10 million open space bond approved by voters in 2010. Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian described it as one of the largest open space purchases in state history.

The deal isn't expected to be finalized for a few months, as it must be approved by the State Properties Committee and then win court approval.

The amusement park, which featured rides like the Flume and Corkscrew and which The New York Times once called "the Coney Island of Rhode Island," closed in bankruptcy in 1995. The U.S. Small Business Administration serves as the property's court-appointed receiver.

In 2008, the city of Warwick bought 41 acres of Rocky Point land along the coastline and converted it into a park that opened for public use last year.

"Rocky Point is a Rhode Island icon," Democratic U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said at a news conference Monday at the park. "It's a strong memory for those of us of a certain age. We're going to preserve those memories and the feeling that has always been here at Rocky Point: to recreate."

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