NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Years after a developer announced plans to redevelop the property where the old Newport Grand Casino sits, the group says it will soon start unveiling its proposed modifications.
The Carpionato Group first announced its $100 million mixed-use proposal for the former casino in the summer of 2019. CEO Kelly Coates says if all their plans and requests are approved, he still intends to demolish the old casino and build hotels, restaurants, apartments and offices on the 23-acre site.
“It will be generally consistent with a project we submitted before. It’ll be a compelling mixed-use project,” he said. “True live, work, play.”
Prior to being able to reveal this new design to city planners, Coates said the city had to come up with its vision reflected in the North End Urban Plan (NEUP), which Newport’s City Council didn’t adopt until last January.
The NEUP was adopted into the city’s Comprehensive Plan a few weeks later.
“We’ve adopted new zoning regulations, which should help to reflect the public interests, but also should the intent of the claim for commercial areas,” Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano told 12 News.
The mayor said the intent was always to expand the economy by adding commercial space that could bring “innovative operations and higher paying jobs.”
“And I think we will accomplish all that for the entire city,” Napolitano added.
The Carpionato Group’s 2019 proposal indicated the project would yield 250 construction jobs and 500 permanent full-time jobs. Coates wouldn’t say just yet if those figures might change.
“I think there will be significantly more than that,” he said. “And so for today, I’ll under-promise, but in our formal press release, which will be coming up, we will detail the exact number of jobs.”
Coates added that developers will be meeting with planning staff to get a formal application done, which he hopes to have completed in the next 10 days. From there, the new plans can be presented, which will then have to go before the planning board and city council.