Johnston Towne Centre Begins Construction

Wednesday, March 27, 2013, Rhode Island Small Business Jounral

Cranston, RI – Construction has officially begun at the new Johnston Towne Centre located at 1450 Hartford Avenue in Johnston with the awarding of the $1 million plus site construction contract to Cleri Construction Corporation of Johnston. The joint announcement was made today by Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena and Jeffrey Saletin of Saletin Real Estate Group, one of the project’s developers and the property manager.

“This development is now a reality because of the cooperation of Mayor Polisena along with the Johnston Town Council and Planning Board,” said Saletin. 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,” said Polisena. “I am particularly happy that the first major contract has been awarded to a Johnston-based business,” he added. Vincent Cleri, president of Cleri Construction, said that 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 on a street-front pad site. Both Price Rite and BankRI are scheduled to open this summer.

Saletin said, “We are excited to start construction and bring activity back to this development location only a few hundred feet from Town Hall. Interest from retailers and restaurants in the new center is strong and we are able to provide a prime location to do business in the heart of Johnston.”

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,” said Saletin. The RIDOT 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 – is an example of a public private partnership. “The community has been eagerly anticipating the day when the shopping center would come back to life,” the mayor said. “That day has arrived.”