In recent months, the city has seen a variety of proposals that will increase Warwick’s housing stock and hotel offerings: a 122-room WoodSprings Suites Extended Stay Hotel, 56 townhouse-style and 19 single-family style dwellings now under construction, 238 apartment units that have been approved and will be housed in a former Sheraton hotel, and a proposal to construct 200 apartment units at Metro Center Dr. and Kilvert St. that’s presently proceeding through the municipal approval process. And, just last month, Skydra Development received approvals for a request to rezone roughly 6.5 acres from the City Centre Warwick Gateway designation to City Centre’s Intermodal zone.
Skydra is proposing to redevelop the property – which has most recently been used as a parking facility – into 200 multi-family residential units within two, four-story buildings. The plan recently presented to the planning board, which granted master plan project approval, calls for a mix of styles, including 68 studios and 71 one-bedroom and 61 two-bedroom units. Landscaping will follow recommendations included in the City Centre Warwick Design Guidelines and will establish a streetscape along the Airport Connector Rd. and Post Rd. Interior landscaping will include shady spots within the parking areas as well as outdoor spaces for residents’ use. One building has specifically been planned for construction along the street, keeping the parking out of sight and furthering the pedestrian experience – the latter is a strong element of the City Centre Master plan.
The proposed architecture will also adhere to City Centre Warwick guidelines, including a differentiated first floor, a “rhythmic pattern of bays,” and porches at every unit along the building facades that are meant to help provide visual interest, according to project engineers. The property will include approximately 300 parking spaces and high-quality monument signs installed at each entry point. The zone change from Gateway, which is intended to allow for limited commercial uses customarily associated with transportation facilities as well as general commercial uses commonly allowed within general business districts, to Intermodal, which creates and sustains an area of regional economic activity consisting of retail, commercial, office, and residential uses, is in keeping with the vision for the area outlined in the city’s comprehensive plan.
The project’s location, in close proximity to Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport, the highway, and the InterLink intermodal MBTA commuter rail station, will no doubt be a tremendous draw for those looking to move to Warwick or to relocate within city limits. These various residential projects will also further efforts to attract mixed-use development, including restaurants, pubs, and the like, to the City Centre Warwick neighborhood and the surrounding area, since demand for supportive uses for residential units are expected to exponentially increase as these units become occupied. This will serve to build on the ever-increasing interest developers and new residents are expressing in the area.
If you’d like to learn more about the City of Warwick, or about development opportunities, please visit warwickri.gov, citycentrewarwick.com, call the Department of Economic Development (401) 738-2014, or email [email protected]
Frank Picozzi is the mayor of the city of Warwick, R.I.