Marshall pitches latest Metacomet redevelopment plan to East Providence City Council

Updates plan to redevelop former country club, would maintain a full 9-hole course

By Mike Rego
Posted 4/21/21

EAST PROVIDENCE — Eight months after its initial plan was rebuffed and three months after the City Council began considering an eminent domain taking of the land, Marshall Properties LLC …

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Marshall pitches latest Metacomet redevelopment plan to East Providence City Council

Updates plan to redevelop former country club, would maintain a full 9-hole course

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — Eight months after its initial plan was rebuffed and three months after the City Council began considering an eminent domain taking of the land, Marshall Properties LLC returned to the body at its April 21 meeting with an updated proposal for the redevelopment of the former Metacomet Country Club site off Veterans Memorial Parkway, including potential zone changes.

Key to the revised plan would be to maintain a portion of the 138-acre parcel as a full 9-hole golf course. Seven of the outward holes stay in their existing footprint with holes 2 and 8 split in half. Current holes 5 and 9 would be removed.

Marshall would run the course, open to the public. The East Providence High School golf team would access it free and city residents offered discounted fees.

Marshall also said it would agree to have the 49 acres of the course become deed restricted specifically for golf or open space.

Besides the 22 acres abutting Watchemoket Cove the developers previously agreed to make available to the general populous, in its new plan Marshall has pledged to give the city nearly 10 other acres of land along Lyon Avenue and Fort Street to serve as a buffer from the 60 acres its intended to develop.

Also, Marshall vowed to construction 2.2 miles of publicly accessible walking paths running throughout the village it plans to create as well as a scenic overlook of the cove.

In addition, Marshall would agree in writing not to build any type of hotel on the property and commit to not housing any general merchandise business, a "big box store," over 30,000 square feet.

Zach Darrow, from the real estate law office of DarrowEverett representing Marshall, said to the council in his introductory remarks, "If we were to receive this zone change, it's just the beginning and we know that...There is a lot of process we have to attend to."

He added later of the revised plan, "It's been a journey, challenging," but that his firm and Marshall were "proud" of their latest proposal.

Lianne Marshall, a partner in the eponymous company, said much time and consideration was put into the revisions. Her side had listened to a lot of ideas from residents and many of those were taken into account as Marshall's proposal was refined.

"We share, and it's something we share very passionately, is we want to work with the community, work with the people in the city to create a destination, a place where people would want to come and engage," Ms. Marshall added.

No action was taken by the council last Tuesday night. Ward 1 member and body president Bob Britto noted prior to Marshall's presentation the council must finish its eminent domatin review before moving forward on the topic.

Ward 3 Councilor Nate Cahoon, point blank, inquired if Ms. Marshall and her company would be amenable to a "friendly sale," a negotiated purchase by the city, which she said it would not.

Asked by members what it could do during any potental rezoning talks, City Solictor Michael Marcello told the council it had a "blank slate" and could place any type of restrictions it saw fit, such as building size, approved operations, etc., while amending the existing designation.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.