Developer celebrates Palmer Pointe project

New affordable housing development will offer 46 units

By Josh Bickford
Posted 9/13/19

U.S. Congressman David Cicilline said it will strengthen the community. He said it will make Barrington better. And he said it will be crucial for social cohesion in this town.

Rep. Cicilline …

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Developer celebrates Palmer Pointe project

New affordable housing development will offer 46 units

Posted

U.S. Congressman David Cicilline said it will strengthen the community. He said it will make Barrington better. And he said it will be crucial for social cohesion in this town.

Rep. Cicilline shared a positive message with all those who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony held Friday morning, Sept. 6 for the Palmer Pointe affordable housing development on Sowams Road.

"This," he said, referring to Palmer Pointe, "will make Barrington a stronger and better community."

The congressman was not alone with his message. 

Other officials, including Barrington Town Council President Michael Carroll, said the new 46-unit development would serve to benefit Barrington. Mr. Carroll said that while some people in town may have concerns, as they would with any new housing developments, history has shown that affordable housing projects such as Palmer Pointe and Sweetbriar yield positive impacts. Mr. Carroll said Sweetbriar has served as an example of what Palmer Pointe will bring.

"Any time you're building a development people are going to have concerns and that's perfectly normal," said Mr. Carroll, during an interviewing following the ribbon-cutting. "You have to address those concerns. We have questions about property values — we can show that the property values don't go down. We have questions from some people about crime — Sweetbriar has a lower per household visit rate from the police than the rest of the town. So we addressed those concerns. I think we can show that the development has been good for our town."

Diane Mederos, the executive director for the East Bay Community Development Corporation, served as the emcee for the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday. EBCDC, which is based in Bristol, is the developer for both Sweetbriar and Palmer Pointe. 

Ms. Mederos credited former EBCDC executive director Kathy Bazinet for her work with Palmer Pointe. She also thanked all the local and state politicians who attended the event, including Sen. Cindy Coyne. Ms. Mederos also said that Barrington officials played a key role in sharing support for the Palmer Pointe development, which faced legal and other challenges from abutters and resident groups.

If it were not for the efforts of the Town of Barrington, we wouldn't be here today, said Ms. Mederos.

Mr. Carroll spoke during the event — he said the town was dedicated to affordable housing, despite some of the challenges that face this community. He said Barrington is mainly built-out and there are not many locations available for a project such as Palmer Pointe, which covers about 10 acres of land off Sowams Road. Mr. Carroll said the town is always looking for creative ways to capture more affordable housing.

During an interview shortly following the event, Mr. Carroll said officials at the East Bay Community Development Corporation have been good partners with the town during the Palmer Pointe project.

"It was a very good give and take," said Mr. Carroll. "I remember they had garbage cans that were kept close to the (abutting) properties and one of the neighbors said 'I don't like that.' And we called them (EBCDC) and they moved it."

As for the future Barrington residents who will be moving into the apartments at Palmer Pointe, Mr. Carroll offered this: "In terms of folks who are concerned about affordable housing, I think they'll find, especially the people around here, that they really are good neighbors."

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