CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – A portion of the iconic shrubs that spell out “Garden City” in the Cranston shopping center are being removed to accommodate a new 30,000-square-foot building which will house new restaurants and retail stores, according to a spokesperson for Garden City.
Spokesman Gregg Perry said retail is on the rise in Garden City.
“It’s like one stop and you can do everything and that’s really the success model in outdoor retail shopping today,” Perry said Thursday.
There is expected to be four new restaurants located in the new building, including The Legal C Bar – which will be a bar run by the Legal Seafoods company, The Simple Greek – a 12-restaurant chain with an outlet in East Providence, Tropical Smoothie Cafe and Tavern in the Square, which will be a sports bar/restaurant.
The new building is going to be constructed in what was an old parking lot in the southern half of Garden City and is the second new building to be built in five years at the complex.
Perry said only the “City” part of the shrub will be removed and “Garden” will stay.
“We feel badly about it but it’s one of those things to accommodate the new building, it had to happen,” he said.
Perry also said that due to the age of the shrubs, they wouldn’t be able to condense the shrub to say “Garden City” like it used to.
“The amount of time it takes to grow a topiary like that, it wouldn’t be feasible,” he said.
Many Rhode Islanders are upset about this change.
“It’s not going to make much sense to have garden without the city,” said Debbie Shapiro of Cranston.
Andrew Quinn of Cranston likes his childhood memories, and he says these shrubs meant something to him.
“No more ‘city’ and no more Benny’s… it’s a little less Rhode Island,” he said. “It’s just a memory, like my babysitter used to live in the complex across the street and we used to roll down the hill in between the bushes, so it will be sad to see it go.”
Garden City says the new building is scheduled to be complete by 2018.