EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — An East Providence golf course’s days may be numbered after a group of investors decided to sell it to a developer.
City officials tell Eyewitness News that Marshall Properties has purchased the Metacomet Golf Club with hopes of building retail, residential, office space and a hotel in its place.
Marshall Properties calls the possible development a “transformational economic project” for East Providence, but some residents argue it will disrupt the currently peaceful area along Veterans Memorial Parkway.
Lynn Miller, a lifelong East Providence resident, recently created an online petition demanding that the developer refrain from building commercially on the 138-acre land.
“I was pretty disgusted,” Miller said. “We don’t have many open areas here now. To put what they want to put in that area is unacceptable.”
Her petition has gained traction, garnering nearly 1,100 signatures at last check.
“First of all, we are trying to get the area aware of what is going on because nobody knew this was happening until the people who live in the 200-foot radius received their registered letters,” she said.
Marshall Properties tells Eyewitness News that more than 30 acres of the land would be reserved for open space, including walking trails.
“The current use has not allowed most city residents the opportunity to access, use and fully enjoy the property and its pristine views,” Marshall Properties said in a statement. “Marshall Development will continue to partner with the City of East Providence to redevelop the property in a meaningful way that will unlock this gem in an effort to create benefits for the entire community.”
Kristen Crowell moved to East Providence 10 years ago and chose the area for its close proximity to Bayview and Metacomet. She said her family joined the golf club last year and losing the course would be unfortunate.
“It’s 93 acres of lost green space — if this becomes a through way to another commercial space I think it could bring down property values,” Crowell said. “It’s a famous golf course built by Donald Ross and so I just think it’s a loss of history and a loss of culture.”
The East Providence City Council is scheduled to discuss the developer’s plan at a meeting Tuesday night.