Johnston Town Centre to Bring 'Hundreds of Jobs'

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 by Olga Enger, Johnston, RI Patch

Construction has begun at the new Johnston Towne Centre, a project Mayor Joseph Polisena said will bring hundreds of jobs to the town.

The $1 million-plus construction contract was awarded to Johnston company Cleri Construction Corporation, Polisena and Jeffrey Saletin of Saletin Real Estate Group announced Monday.

“This development is now a reality because of the cooperation of Mayor Polisena along with the Johnston Town Council and Planning Board,” Saletin said in a release. The mayor and the town council worked with the developers and issued Tax Increment Bond financing to help jump start the project.

“The developer is spending millions of dollars creating a Growth District in our town out of an old, blighted and abandoned shopping center which will create hundreds of new jobs,” Polisena said of the property at 1450 Hartford Ave. “I am particularly happy that the first major contract has been awarded to a Johnston-based business."

Vincent Cleri, president of Cleri Construction, said his company is excited to be part of revitalizing the center of Johnston. 

Price Rite supermarket will anchor the shopping center with a 40,000 square-foot store. Joining Price Rite in the first phase of construction is BankRI, who is moving its Johnston branch to a new 3,100-square-foot building. Both Price Rite and BankRI are scheduled to open this summer.

Johnston Towne Centre will feature 95,000 leasable square feet of space in five buildings. In addition to Price Rite and BankRI, the center will include two pad sites (each with a drive-thru) and three buildings providing retail spaces from 1,000 to 30,000 square feet. Parking for more than 500 cars will be available.

“This project has been a team effort that has included on-going support from the town of Johnston and several state of Rhode Island departments,” Saletin said.

The state Department of Transportation completed $3.4 million of road improvements in front of the property — new traffic signal, four travel lanes with two turning lanes, curbs and utilities.

“The community has been eagerly anticipating the day when the shopping center would come back to life,” Polisena said. “That day has arrived.”