East Providence, RI The 37 acres of land that was once home to 25 petroleum tanks and 20 acres of contaminated soil, is now an award winning project and home to hundreds of new residents.
President and CEO of Churchill and Banks, Richard Baccari II, the developer of the site, first walked Kettle Point 10 years ago. Since then he has turned the land into 62 condominiums, 228 apartments and a 90,000 s/f medical facility for University Orthopedics.
Baccari and company were recognized as the winner of the 2021 James D.P. Farrell Award for Brownfields-Remediation Project of the Year. Awarded by the New England Environmental Business Council, the honor is, “awarded to a Brownfields, Remediation, or Superfund project … that serves as an example of excellence notwithstanding the social, economic, technical and institutional challenges imposed.”
Baccari hopes this project, “Gives people the confidence to work with state agencies and the city of East Providence, [along with other] cities and towns that have similar environmental situations.” He encourages others to get creative and be ambitious when approaching complicated issues. He hopes the Kettle Point project can serve as a blueprint for other waterfront revival projects around Rhode Island.
One of Baccari’s proudest accomplishments that emerged from this project was making the waterfront more accessible to the public. With over 1,500 linear feet of coastline, Baccari believed there was a need for public access from the very beginning of the project. Churchill and Banks recently donated 2.9 acres of land to the city, which included a newly renovated fishing pier.
On May 25th, the developing team, state and local officials, and the public gathered for the ribbon cutting and donation ceremony at the pier. This donation and renovation has allowed for easier public access to the Squantum State Woods, the East Bay bike path, and the 600-foot fishing pier. Baccari said, “The city of East Providence Waterfront Commission has been amazing to work with throughout this process.” He mentions that ambitious people with common goals can make great things happen.
Kettle Point is nearing completion with 50 of 62 condominiums complete, and the final 12 under construction. These condos range from 2,000-3,300 s/f, all having two-car garages. Condominium owners have access to a private clubhouse with an exercise facility, pool, and other amenities. Additionally, 228 apartments have already been constructed and the University Orthopedics building has been put to great use since it’s completion. Baccari believes the Kettle Point project has created well over 1,000 construction jobs throughout the past six years, and over 200 permanent jobs in the University Orthopedics building.
Baccari states, “This project has been the furthest thing from easy, but I’m glad that years and years of hard work is finally paying off for all people who were a part of this.”