Tourister developer has a plan for downtown Bristol mill

The same developer who overhauled a mill complex in downtown Warren is hoping to do something similar in downtown Bristol

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 6/9/21

Brady Sullivan Properties, LLC, which redeveloped the former American Tourister factory in Warren, is seeking approval to redevelop the Thames Street Robin Rug complex into “Bristol Yarn …

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Tourister developer has a plan for downtown Bristol mill

The same developer who overhauled a mill complex in downtown Warren is hoping to do something similar in downtown Bristol

Posted

Brady Sullivan Properties, LLC, which redeveloped the former American Tourister factory in Warren, is seeking approval to redevelop the Thames Street Robin Rug complex into “Bristol Yarn Mill,” home to 151 rental units ranging in size from about 650 square feet to nearly 2,000 square feet. The project would also include 6,300 feet of leasable retail space, 170 interior parking spaces, and about 150 exterior spaces in lots near the complex.

The “complex” is composed of seven separate buildings on a footprint that stretches a long block from Constitution to Union streets along Bristol Harbor. The developer’s design has seven commercial spaces on the ground level, along with a handful of apartments. There would be about 50 apartments on each of the second, third and fourth floors. There would be one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Parking would be in the basement.

Brady Sullivan will work with the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission and the Bristol Historic District Commission, and while none of the historic buildings will be removed, there is a concrete masonry block building in the complex, of no historical significance or practical reuse, which would be razed.

The site will include public access along the shoreline from the Elks Club to the Maritime Center, and include  landscaping, stormwater management, and emergency vehicle access from Constitution Street to the west side of the building.

Brady Sullivan also intends to construct additional off-site parking to serve the market demands it anticipates for the project. The redevelopment is expected to comply with the applicable state regulations and the Town of Bristol’s zoning ordinance and development regulations, with some exceptions, and relief from the Bristol Zoning Ordinance is anticipated for certain elements of the proposed redevelopment, including parking space dimensions, proposed commercial use, proposed public use, and residential density.

The Bristol Planning Board meeting on Thursday, June 10, at 7 p.m., includes a “Concept Plan Review/Pre-Application” presentation of the new development. According to the Planning Board agenda, Brady Sullivan’s proposal would seek to amend the original Change of Zone conditions which were originally issued in 2008 and limited the residential units to 98, about two-thirds of what is now being proposed.

According to Community Development Director Diane Williamson, a concept plan review is the first presentation to the board. It is conceptual and an opportunity for the developer to share its proposal. No votes or decisions will be made.

“It gives the board the opportunity to ask questions, request things like a traffic study, that sort of thing,” said Ms. Williamson. Redevelopment of the Robin Rug site has been on the town’s radar for many years, and this project is the furthest the project has progressed in a long time. “This is a great opportunity for the town to see this property redeveloped,” said Ms. Williamson. “But it’s a long process.”

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