EAST GREENWICH — A major mixed-use development that straddles two communities took another big step forward in becoming a reality in the future.
With unanimous approval, members of the East Greenwich Planning Board gave the okay to both the master plan for “The Commons at Frenchtown Road” presented by representatives from Frenchtown Commons, LLC and a proposed alteration to the zone ordinance in order to accommodate the 40-acre parcel of land that stretches across East Greenwich and North Kingstown.
The triangular-shaped East Greenwich portion of the property is about one quarter of the total size that faces Frenchtown Road and extends south across the town line.
As stated in the staff report, the East Greenwich side of “The Commons at Frenchtown Road” will have a cinema, some retail, residential and office buildings while the North Kingstown side will have a big-box retail store that will be approximately 135,000 square feet in size among other retailers. The entire parcel of land will be located west of the Stop and Shop plaza at the corner of Frenchtown Road and Post Road just beyond the former Brown and Sharp facility.
When the plan was first introduced back in 2011, according to the staff report, the proposal called for the big-box retailer and a 9,000-stquare-foot restaurant to be located on the East Greenwich side of the land. However, the report states that a second version “flipped” the design, which now placed the big-box retailer on the North Kingstown side and the ban on big-box retailers on North Kingstown was lifted to accommodate the project.
In terms of sewer service, the East Greenwich Public Works Department, according to the staff report, has indicated “a willingness to accept connections as it would be in the best interest of the Hunt River Aquifer.” However, the report states that an on-site treatment system for this size development would “not be optimal” and that such extension for connections on Frenchtown Road wasn’t expected by the Town’s current Sewer Facilities Plan. Therefore, amendments to that document would be required on the part of the East Greenwich Town Council before construction begins on the site.
For the rest of this story and more local news, pick up the Sept. 12 issue of the East Greenwich Pendulum.