Progress Report on EG Residential Projects Under Construction

by | Aug 23, 2022

Above: The six condominiums being built on Union Street but part of the overall 461 Main Street mixed-use project.

All around town, apartment buildings are morphing into condos, new buildings are going up and, in one notable case, a very old house has come down. East Greenwich News checked in with town building official Ernie Marinaro about various projects and got some updates. 

FYI: Developers of all of these residential projects have taken advantage of the state’s affordable housing incentive program (known as a “comp permit” in EG), which allows for greater density and a fast-track through town regulatory boards in return for 25 percent of the units being made deed-restricted affordable. These comp permits are so common because East Greenwich has about 5 percent of its housing stock in the affordable category and the state mandates all cities and towns have 10 percent.

461 Main Street – This project appears to be two different projects – a rehab of an older building on Main Street and the new construction of six townhouse-like condominiums on Union Street. But they are both part of the same development known as 461 Main Street (between Centreville Bank and Union & Main restaurant). The main building that fronts on Main Street has been gutted and will have commercial space on the first floor (no restaurants allowed) and residential units above. The townhouses have garages underneath. Together, with a parking lot behind the Main Street building, there will be 41 parking spaces. 

In progress: The Imperial on Greenwich Avenue off of Main Street.

The Imperial and The Post (1016 Main Street)The Imperial is that large building rising up behind the former American Legion Post 15 building on Main Street. While it’s noticeable from Main Street, the 38-unit development is particularly visible from Scalloptown Park, on the other side of the train tracks. The town gave the project the green light in 2019. After that, the developer was able to buy the Post 15 property and has gotten approval for another 30 units on that location. The Imperial is on track for completion in 2023. Read more HERE.

Franklin Terrace The Planning Board approved this 12-unit residential development off Franklin Road last spring and the project is well under way, with 6 of the units under construction. The development sits behind Anderson’s Ski & Dive on Post Road and abuts the River Farm neighborhood. Each unit will have two stories, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a one-car garage; three of the units will be deed-restricted affordable. All traffic will flow in and out of Franklin Road, a connector that links Post Road to River Farm. Read more HERE.

Franklin Terrace.

Coggeshall  Preserve (62 South Pierce Road) The Coggeshall-McKenna farmhouse, which was built in the 1700s, was torn down earlier in August, making way for eight residential units on the 5-acre property at the corner of South Pierce Road and Cora Street. Despite strong desire from neighbors and historic preservationists to keep the house and simply renovate it, years of neglect rendered it in the eyes of the developer and town officials as impossible to salvage. A replica of the original house will be built containing two residential units. The chimney, a historic hallmark, will be recreated as well. Some nearby residents have said developer Tom Primeau was not supposed to take down the chimney but the permit from the town allowed for the entire structure to be demolished. “The previous historic structure will be reconstructed like-kind in accordance with the approved plans,” Primeau said via text. He said site work has begun and building will commence in about a month. Read more and see photos of the old farmhouse HERE.

Site of the Coggeshall-McKenna farmhouse, which was torn down in early August.

104 Duke Street (corner of Queen Street) – The original structure (home to the famous Tar Tar Ucci shop) came down last December (see video HERE). Construction of five row-house townhomes is under way.

104 Duke Street (at Queen Street), a new-construction condominium development.

32 Exchange Street – This now-vacant lot is approved for 12 units. The house on the site was torn down in February and there has been some site remediation work but the property has been listed for sale. 

38 Exchange Street – (This is NOT under construction yet but because it sits between 104 Duke and 32 Exchange, we felt it deserved a mention.) This apartment building sits between 32 Exchange and 104 Duke but the big distinction here is the developer (Touchdown Realty, also behind the 104 Duke Street project) is not seeking to tear it down. Rather, they are proposing to rehab the building and convert it into condominiums. 

Brookside Terrace (1472 South County Trail) – Phase One of this 96-unit project opened earlier this year. Phase Two is nearing completion. This project is all affordable units; the apartments are one- and two-bedroom. Read more HERE.

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August 24, 2022 6:12 am

I’ll most likely be observing from another plane but can’t wait to hear the “Oh No’s : when you realize what you’ve done to this town.
It is already shown signs of not working.
But, what do I know. I’m just an Old Townie, and we don’t know anything.

August 25, 2022 8:02 am
Reply to  bruce

The word that comes to mind is gentrification. An effective form of gerrymandering. A rise in property values, displacement problems among poorer residents unable to afford higher rents and taxes, especially among the elderly.

As I think back a town this size had the personality of the people, it’s inhabitants. Ralph Catanio at Pittsburgh Paints, “Bunny” Swan at Bunny’s Pool Hall, Leonard Solomon, Chief Fred Miller of the EGVFD, Kenny Convery. And the recently deceased Cliff Rice a huge Red Sox Fan who prior to them winning a WS wouldn’t stop yapping to this Yankee Fan and probably didn’t even after they won. His father Walter who never seemed to mind us kids keeping him company in a small shack complete with a potbelly stove ablaze on a snowy day as he operated the gates at the train crossing that sat atop of Queen Street overlooking the cove.

People way too numerous to name but never forget.
You’d find them in books written by Twain, Steinbeck, Longfellow, (after all what as kids we’d call the Longfellow house is known as the “Windmill Cottage” on Division) and also by Irving. A “Sleepy Hollow” town complete with history of a chartered Navy and an urban legend of a man that walks Middle Road to ask every Halloween trick or treater a question on that fateful eve.

Now this personality of this town has become mammon, along with structures that do not reflect their surroundings. As I was recently told concerning this most recent construction, size does matter. “The Imperial.” Sounds like it belongs on the strip in Vegas.

Perhaps a metaphor can be found in Goldsmith’s “The Deserted Village” written in the 18th century.

“Far, far away, thy children leave the land.
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay:
Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade;
A breath can make them, as a breath has made;
But a bold peasantry, their country’s pride,
When once destroyed, can never be supplied.”

August 24, 2022 11:08 am

It seems we keep subdividing lots, filling empty lots, and tearing down single family homes to replace them with multi-families. I live on the corner of Liberty & Somerset (across from the first project above), and when we moved in, there were no residential properties on Union between Liberty & Main. It’s one of the narrowest streets in town—one with *no* sidewalks—and not exactly a through street. It also has a ton of traffic due, in part, to the success of the restaurants on Main St., why, half of Union is a parking lot with valet. Recently, two townhouses were built next the Patio on Union, and the four mentioned above. Six new homes. That is more homes than on my entire street! I appreciate and accept the march of progress, and the inevitability of open space being lost, but this rate and scope are not sustainable. When will the planning board reel it in? If this is part of a state-wide mandate, where is our representation to appeal to the state? If this is due to town laws, etc., can they be voted upon and changed? I hear nothing about relief for this issue. It’s killing our town, in both the loss of character and the stress on our infrastructure and public services. Who speaks for us?

August 24, 2022 8:32 pm

Let’s NOT forget the 4 single family houses being built where pals is PLUS 3 single family houses with garage where pals parking lot was on Duke St

September 12, 2022 8:48 pm
Reply to  Neighb

Guess we do not care about “green space”. The building on liberty st and union is ridiculous. There was no need to put the buildings right up to the street. There is no outdoor space for human consumption. Why do we have a planning board, zoning board, or a town government, if the state passes laws that override the town desires or needs. The same is happening with Eldridge school. The state will not provide funds to EG to keep that a functioning school.


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