Tourister developers to show cards soon

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A New Hampshire-based development firm that bought the former American Tourister plant five months ago is nearly ready to unveil its plan for the sprawling property to the Town of Warren.

Officials from Brady Sullivan, which purchased the property for $2.6 million at a receivership auction in Rhode Island Superior Court, have been very secretive about their plans since acquiring the property. But in recent weeks they've been talking to Warren Town Solicitor Anthony DeSisto about how to start their town approval process.

Warren Town Planner Caroline Wells has spoken to Brady Sullivan officials, too, and said she's "pretty pleased with what they've presented so far."

"They're ready to move forward," she said. "Interest rates are rising and they're anxious to get moving."

At issue during the recent talks between attorneys is how the town approval process will unfold. Meredith Management received Warren Planning Board approval for its own redevelopment project some five years ago before walking away as the economy soured. That approval has been renewed several times and is now good until next year; among other things, Ms. Wells said discussions have focused on whether those approvals can apply to Brady Sullivan's plan.

Ms. Wells said she expects to see a plan presented to the town very soon. From there, the town will likely hold a public workshop before the Warren Planning Board to give Brady Sullivan officials a chance to outline their plan for all interested.

Brady Sullivan specializes revitalizing old mills and factories into rental housing.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.