BankRI breaks ground on new Johnston branch

Thursday, June 13, 2013, RhodyBeat

Bank Rhode Island (BankRI) announced the start of construction on its new Johnston branch Monday with a special groundbreaking event. The branch is being built as part of the new Johnston Towne Centre development project on Hartford Avenue overseen by the Saletin Real Estate Group.

“We’re very excited about being here. It’s been a long time in the making,” said BankRI President and CEO Mark Meiklejohn. “I think it’s transforming the area.”

For years, the old plaza, which was once anchored by a Stuarts Department Store, has sat idle along one of the most heavily trafficked areas of Johnston. Later this year, the plaza will re-open as Johnston Towne Centre, featuring a new BankRI branch and Price Rite Supermarket. Overall, the Centre will offer 95,000 square feet of retail space and more than 500 parking spots while benefiting from more than $3.4 million in road improvements, including new travel lanes, entrances, traffic signals and all new utilities.

“I think it’s really going to add to the character of everything we’re developing here,” he said. Jeff Saletin, president of the Saletin Group, called the design for the new BankRI branch “gorgeous,” and believed it would be an important part in reviving the area.

Mayor Joseph Polisena also spoke briefly and said that he believes the location will help the town and the developer.

“This is an important project for us,” he said. “You’ve got an ideal location. I think you’ll do well and you’ll increase your customer base.”

Construction is set to begin on the BankRI site within the next two weeks, with the opening tentatively scheduled for the end of October.

BankRI breaks ground on new Johnston branch