Chevron reassesses plans for East Providence waterfront land

Likely to include more entertainment, hospitality space in retrofit

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EAST PROVIDENCE — Chevron Corporation has altered its plans for its property adjacent to Veterans Memorial Parkway with an eye towards allowing for any development to reach what the energy giant sees as its full potential.

During an update given to the City Council at its June 6 meeting, City Planning Director Jeanne Boyle outlined the changes being considered by the California-based company, saying it has decided to “take a pause” from the original intended use of the 26-acre property.

The land, located at the city’s western shoreline, has been remediated at an approximate cost of $30 million and is ready to be developed. However, changes to projects on abutting properties at Kettle and Bold Points has led Chevron to reconsider its initial mixed-use plan for the parcel, which originally leaned more heavily towards constructing residential units with a small portion being intended for commercial use.

Ms. Boyle said the addition of the 90,000 square foot office for University Orthopedics at the Kettle Point development played a key role in Chevron’s decision to pause as did the city’s approval for Waterfront Productions to erect a seasonal live entertainment venue at Bold Point Park. The director said Chevron was considering whether to add more hospitality and entertainment components to its plans.

With that in mind, Chevron has split with its initial development partner, Village on the Waterfront. The project going forward will no longer be referred to in that manner. Instead, the working title is now the “Chevron property.”

Ms. Boyle said Chevron remains committed to development, saying, “They want to move this quickly.” The company has already met with a host of city officials and plans to seek input from residents and other stakeholders as it revises its plan. According to the director, Chevron will soon launch a “listening section” for the master planning process and company representatives plan to attend the June 20 Council meeting to expand on its proposal.

“(Chevron) is absolutely committed to have project go forward,” Ms. Boyle said.

The director said it is likely that the most recognizable piece of property at the moment, the land across from Lyon Avenue and Metacomet Country Club, will stay as a mostly residential component. But the parcels south towards Kettle Point and north toward Interstate 195, will likely have more mixed-use or commercial aspects.

“It could be something very exciting for the city,” Ms. Boyle. “I’m very pleased that they’re so committed to community involvement and looking at it in a long-range fashion.”

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