Public hearing held for Garden City expansion in Cranston


CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The public had a chance to learn more about a proposal to expand the Garden City Center in Cranston.

At the City Council meeting Monday night, the developer spoke about a 10-year plan for the shopping center, that would allow Garden City to become a redevelopment district that would potentially feature a hotel, apartments, residential condos and even a trade school or assisted living facility.

The plan would also allow the shopping center to install electronic message boards, which are usually banned in Cranston.

The proposal also seeks approval for constructing buildings up to 100 feet tall. The current maximum is 35 feet tall.

Although there is no structure in the works yet, the owner of the 65-year-old shopping center, Thomas Wilder, says he plans to return to the council within a year or two with concrete ideas on what the center will feature.

“If we’re trying to attract a hotel or residential developer, they’re not going to come along for the ride and say ‘oh we think we can get the variance.’ This allows us to create that framework, again, to think about those uses and those opportunities,” said Wilder Companies developer Thomas Wilder.

A final vote is required to move forward with the proposed additions.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung says he supports the proposal.

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