The East Providence Waterfront Commission has continued to work hard during the COVID-19 pandemic to assure that we conduct business as usual. Despite a global economic shock that has resulted in a 32% downturn in nationwide residential construction during February and March, activity at Kettle Point in East Providence remains strong.
Utilizing a remote, virtual meeting format at its April 16, 2020 hearing, the Commission approved the application of Kettle Point Apartments, LLC to modify the last phase of its development with a multi-million dollar project. This latest development will consist of 12 townhomes in two buildings that overlook Squantum Woods.
Business and government continuity during a time of crisis is not only vital to our city, but it’s vital to our economy as a whole. Businesses, such as A.R. Building Co. Inc., are adapting to the new realities of this pandemic economy and forging ahead in a safe, responsible manner that will continue to spur investment and economic development in our city.
Construction at Kettle Point is currently in progress at Building 5, a 41-unit apartment building that is the last of five, four-story Class A apartments at Kettle Point. When completed in the next several months, Jason Kambitsis, senior vice president of Acquisitions and Development for Irwin, Penn.-based A.R. Building Co Inc., anticipates that crews will continue with construction of the new $2.4 million townhomes. Units in both the townhomes and the apartment building include one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts in response to market demand. Construction of the Kettle Point townhomes should take between 8 to 10 months with all construction complete by March 2021.
Kambitsis thanked the Commission for proceeding with a remote meeting format that will enable work during this construction season. His firm is pushing strong in Rhode Island to look beyond the current economy and provide jobs for the local workforce. Of the 39 subcontractors hired to date for this project, 20 are from Rhode Island. Construction is continuing, following all state and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidelines regarding cleanliness and social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although some supply chains have been disrupted, his firm is making arrangements to stay on track.
Churchill & Banks is also continuing with construction of high-end duplexes at Kettle Point. As of December 2019, 42 of the 62 approved condominiums were occupied. Of the eight units currently under construction, four are under contract. Richard Baccari, chairman of Churchill & Banks, anticipates that Kettle Point construction will be wrapped up by mid-2021, a slight delay over previous projections.
East Providence Waterfront Commission chairman William Fazioli believes that the efforts of the Commission and staff during these very challenging times will provide a much needed spark for East Providence’s and Rhode Island’s economy.
“The ability to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances will favorably position the city and state as the COVID-19 crisis recedes,” Fazioli said.
Roberto DaSilva is the mayor of East Providence, R.I.