Ferrucci Russo Dorsey


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Project Development & Construction


Our expansive project development experience spans public and private projects and innovative legislation that impacts the economic development of our region. We are known for helping cities and towns complete projects integral to the fabric of their communities using creative and collaborative approaches.

From the Tiverton Casino Hotel to the waterfront in East Providence, the attorneys at Ferrucci Russo understand the compelling factors that bring development projects to fruition such as tax strategies, impact fees and host-community agreements.

We have negotiated construction contracts, joint venture agreements, and development agreements for various project delivery methods including construction management, fast track, and guaranteed maximum price. We handle energy and utility siting proceedings for major energy facilities.  We have represented large industrial electricity customers in negotiating competitive electricity rates.  We have litigated complex disputes regarding load-response programs.

The Ferrucci Russo Dorsey team works with cities, towns and land owners to utilize specialized Court-supervised proceedings focused on collaboratively resurrecting distressed real estate development projects. They designed an abandoned properties receivership program to address abandoned and public nuisance residential properties in municipal housing courts.

In 2019, we were part of the permitting team for a 1000 mw energy facility before the Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board.  In the area of real estate, we have successfully worked through environmental issues for redevelopment projects in the area, assisted project owners/developers in seeking grants and other incentives to address environmental remediation in real estate project development. The most recent success includes $280,000 in grants for distressed real estate projects in East Providence and West Warwick.

In 2018, we completed our work as lead counsel for Tiverton Casino Hotel. 

In 2017, we secured all municipal approvals for a hotel project in Lincoln and we secured critical water supply for a $1B energy facility project. 

In addition, our project experience includes: 

  • In the $260 million re-creation of Twin River Casino, the largest gaming and entertainment facility in Rhode Island, our firm worked closely with Twin River to secure permitting and approvals including those for 24-hour operations, virtual gaming, and most recently, a pilot project for expanded liquor service to continue to enable Twin River to remain a regionally-competitive, first-class casino venue. See Mark Russo’s by-lined article in Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly entitled: “Twin River Property Tax Dispute Demonstrates Collaboration Between Municipalities and Property Owners.”
  • We represented a quasi-public state corporation in a utility and infrastructure development for a 310-acre industrial park in Johnston, which included: the permitting of a power plant, a $33.7 million tax treaty with the town of Johnston, a $20 million initiative with the City of Cranston to provide treated effluent to be used for industrial cooling at the park, the permitting and construction of a highway interchange from the site to Route 295, and the relocation of significant utilities, including the communications tower, underground fiber links, and other electronics for future redevelopment.
  • As special counsel to the city of East Providence, we reached a settlement agreement favorable to the city in its major utility relocation efforts as part of the redevelopment of the East Providence Waterfront Special Development District.
  • Engaged by the cities of Providence and East Providence to contest an LNG marine terminal that would have had an adverse impact on the waterfront development plans for those cities, the firm was successful in a full proceeding in front on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and ultimately thwarted the project.
  • The firm served as lead counsel in the permitting and developing of the $70 million Masonic Temple hotel project, which used historic tax credits to redevelop an underutilized structure abandoned in the 1920s into a luxury hotel. We negotiated the complicated, lease-purchase agreements with the State of Rhode Island, declaring sections of the Veterans Memorial Auditorium as a condominium, and the successful negotiation and implementation of a major urban streetscape improvement project with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.
  • We were lead counsel in negotiating the expansion of Toray Plastics (America), one of Rhode Island's largest manufacturers at the Quonset Point Industrial Park, including successfully negotiating the major road abatement and real estate acquisition issues.
  • The firm served as lead counsel in securing the property tax treaty for the GTECH World Headquarters in downtown Providence, affording the company a 20-year tax stabilization and exemption treaty and paving the way for its relocation to Providence.
  • We were lead counsel to the State of Rhode Island in renegotiating the energy rates for the United States Navy in advance of the base relocation and realignment studies by the United States government. We achieved energy discounts that resulted in a favorable economic climate for the Navy to maintain operations in Newport.