With words that it is the kind of redevelopment the city needs and will bring added value to the neighborhood, the Warwick City Council unanimously approved the proposal of Centerville Builders to build six condominiums and five single-family homes off Narragansett Parkway in Pawtuxet.
“You’ve always brought before this council very credible projects,” said Ward 4 Councilman Joseph Solomon to developer Robert Lamoureux.
Ward 5 Councilman Ed Ladouceur lauded the housing development that will replace 24 cottages and a store for what it will do for the environment. He observed with the development being tied into sewers and the elimination of cesspools, the bayside project would serve to improve the environment.
Ladouceur also called the project a boost for the local economy that will “modernize the community and increase the property values of the homes around it.”
Imagining a time after the development has been completed, Lamoureux said, “If you approve this, you’ll be very proud you approved it.”
Lamoureux bought the 2.5-acre property in 2007 with the intent of redeveloping it. However, with the recession and the slump in the housing market, he put it off and he rented the property. A number of the cottages continue to be occupied. That will change once the project gains required approvals and construction is scheduled to start, said John Revens, attorney representing the developer.
Revens put the cost of the development at $5 million to $6 million. While he thought one or two of the condos or houses would be built at a time, he said the entire site would be cleared before any work started and residents would be notified well in advance.
“My guess is that it would be next year,” he said of when the work might start.
Following a presentation of the development, with pictures of the site and drawings followed by questions from council members, Council President Donna Travis asked for public comment, either in favor or against the project. There was none.
Ward 1 Councilman Steven Colantuano asked what would become of a utility pole that is on the site. Lamoureux said the six condos on a bluff overlooking the upper bay would be served by underground utilities. The single-family homes would be built between the condos and the parkway. In an earlier interview, he said that the houses would sell in the range of $400,000 and the condos would be going for $600,000.
The area has a rich history as a summer community.
In a recent letter to the Warwick Beacon, Warwick Historian Henry Brown said the area was a campground run by the benevolent Organization of the Swedish Workingmen’s Association.
“The campground association was so successful that in 1912, an enlargement was made to the community hall,” writes Brown. “At the end of the following summer, their bank account stood at an impressive $4,000. Many members leased land on the campground and built summer cottages, and the area became known as Swedish Village. Some liked it so well they winterized their cottages and lived there year-round.”
The Planning Board approved the project last month. Pawtuxet by the Bay is the name of the project. Lamoureux described the condo units as having detached garages with space above that could be used for guests or family members.