Warwick, RI – The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) announced today that efforts are underway to address vacant properties surrounding T.F. Green Airport. This initiative includes 10 RIAC owned properties outside of the airport perimeter. The initiative will utilize resale, lease and razing of certain properties surrounding the airport to improve appearances and promote economic redevelopment.
“Plans are underway to address vacant properties within RIAC’s control to promote economic development,” said Iftikhar Ahmad, president and CEO of The Rhode Island Airport Corporation. “Over the next year, we will implement a plan to improve the condition of properties surrounding the airport, which will help to encourage economic growth and redevelopment in the area.”
The initiative anticipates the demolition of at least seven rundown structures – many concentrated to the north of the airport along Airport Road – that have been vacant for several years while runway designs were finalized. [See attached list of properties slated for demolition.]
As part of this initiative, RIAC has sold the former Atwood Grill property located at 1910 Post Road to the Procaccianti Companies. The company acquired the property from RIAC on Friday October 20, 2017. The firm plans to redevelop the site to augment RIAC’s overall revitalization efforts and further complement the renovation and brand conversion of the former Comfort Inn Airport hotel.
The hotel, temporarily branded as a Roadway Inn, is undergoing a substantial transformation to become one of the Marriott’s strongest brands: Fairfield Inn by Marriott. Among many improvements included in the comprehensive renovation plan, is a new pedestrian-friendly covered walkway that will connect the new Fairfield Inn Hotel directly to the airport. The hotel and new covered walkway will further enhance the guest experience and punctuate the hotel’s easy access to the airport.
Ralph V. Izzi Jr., vice president corporate marketing & public affairs for the Procaccianti Companies stated that, “We are proud to expand our relationship with RIAC as it represents a true alignment of interests and our collective efforts are resulting in meaningful progress to strengthen economic growth in Warwick. We look forward to working closely with RIAC to the benefit of hotel guests and airport passengers alike.”
“The City is pleased to be working cooperatively with RIAC on this initiative, which is critically important to our shared efforts to bolster economic development opportunities in and around City Centre Warwick and improve the appearance of our community,” said Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian. “The resale of properties identified for redevelopment will return these parcels to our tax rolls – a significant goal identified in our Comprehensive Plan, and strongly supported by this administration. The sale of the Atwood Grill property to the Procaccianti Companies is a terrific first step. My administration looks forward to working with RIAC to ensure the continued success of the Airport and growth of City Centre Warwick.”
“This is yet another example of how the airport can be an economic driver for the City of Warwick and the State of Rhode Island,” said Jonathan Savage, chair of RIAC’s Board of Directors. “Over time, I have every confidence these properties will be repurposed in a meaningful way.”
Furthermore, RIAC and Enterprise Rent-A-Car have a long term lease agreement in place for the former airfield maintenance facility property on Airport Road, which was also the location of the since removed iconic dome. Enterprise is finalizing their plans for the property.
Highly visible areas, such as the corner of Airport Road and Post Road, which currently contain unsightly former storefronts, will be slated for demolition during the next six months. Reuses of this particular area will be limited as it falls within the Runway Protection Zone (RPZ) for Runway 16. The removal of structures will be replaced with green space and will be a welcoming sight for those that live near and travel that area. Other areas, located outside the RPZ along Post Road, will also have structures razed, where applicable, and viable reuse plans coordinated closely with the City of Warwick.
RIAC has been working on this initiative with the City of Warwick and looks forward to working with developers on smart reuses that spur economic development. The initiative enhancing land uses that are in-line with the City Centre Warwick master plan concepts.
Lastly, just southeast of the T.F. Green InterLink, and currently within the Gateway District for City Centre Warwick, RIAC will be actively marketing the former LAZ parking facility located at 2119 Post Road. RIAC purchased the 6.5-acre site in 2016 for $3 million, and is enthusiastic as to the parcel’s development potential, which will ideally be complementary to both the airport and City Centre Warwick, while returning the property to the city’s tax roll.