NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — The building that once housed Newport Grand casino may soon be a thing of the past, but only if a plan to redevelop the property wins approval.
The Carpionato Group unveiled a $100 million mixed-use proposal for the former slot parlor Tuesday morning.
The plan, if approved, would demolish the original building and allow for the construction of office space, medical space, stores, restaurants, hotels and apartments on the 23-acre site.
“It’s currently approximately 2,000 parking spaces, and one of the singularly most unattractive buildings in the state of Rhode Island,” Carpionato Group CEO Kelly Coates said. “That says to me, ‘redevelopment.'”
According to Coates, the project would be the anchor for Newport’s innovation district.
“It truly is the ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ but right now, it’s the beast,” Coates said.
The plan is still in its infancy, according to Coates. The Carpionato Group still needs a zoning change approved by the city, plus approvals from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and Environmental Management (DEM).
Newport Mayor Jamie Bova said she welcomes the project, as long as it helps the entire Newport community.
“It needs to be done in a way that positively benefits the community and doesn’t force anyone out, be it residential or business,” Bova explained.
According to Coates, the project would bring $1.5 million in tax revenue to the city, 250 construction jobs and 500 full-time permanent jobs.
The Carpionato Group plans to present the Newport City Council with the proposal in the fall. There will also be several community meetings scheduled to get residents’ input.
Coates said they hope to break ground sometime in 2020.