SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Springfield and local businessman Peter Picknelly are proposing a major development along the Connecticut River that would include a replacement for the Roderick Ireland Courthouse.

Plans for the proposed development were announced late Thursday morning. It would be located on more than 14 acres of land Picknelly owns along the river between Clinton Street and Avocado Street in the North End.

The development would have two large buildings, one that would house the new courthouse and the other would be an 11-story apartment building with 120-180 one and two bedroom apartments as well as a 160 car covered parking area. It would also include a marina, restaurants, and shops.

Any new courthouse would need to be approved by the state which currently only plans to renovate the existing Roderick Ireland Courthouse. This current proposal would cost an estimated $250-300 million and includes a four-story 210-260 square foot building, a 710-car parking garage, and a rivers edge lookout and platform.

Both potential projects would be estimated to take three to four years to complete and cost an estimated $475 million in total construction costs.

Mayor Sarno states, “My administration is committed to seeing the potential opportunities for this landmark and visionary economic development project.  The possibilities are endless and could help address many pressing needs for our city and the state, such as a new state-of-the-art court house facilities with amenities, while creating more of that good four letter word, JOBS!  We have prime waterfront real estate and a developer ready to work with the city and state to continue to move our Springfield and the Commonwealth forward.” 

Chief Development Officer Timothy Sheehan explained, “The Connecticut River is New England’s flagship natural resource and is one of only 14 designated American Heritage Rivers in the nation. The river was fundamental to the foundation of Springfield as a city and remains the most scenic vista from which to view it today.  The City’s stewardship of development along the riverfront remains focused on expanding its recreational, commercial and residential land uses and encourages architectural engagement with the river’s natural beauty and the furtherance of its public activation. The proposed development concept plan responds well to these objectives.” 

Peter Picknelly stated, “We are very excited to offer this site for consideration as a possible location for a new state of the art courthouse which would provide a healthy and safe environment for all court personnel and the public. Our intention would be to build this facility and lease it to the Commonwealth. It would serve as another great public/private partnership project. In addition, our vision for this development would include apartments/condominiums, a marina, retail and restaurants which would create an exciting riverfront destination. We believe that this development could spur additional riverfront development and contribute significantly to the economic health of our city.”