PORTSMOUTH — A huge residential and marina village development proposed for Weaver Cove, a project that’s been kicking around in various forms for at least two decades, has returned for …
PORTSMOUTH — A huge residential and marina village development proposed for Weaver Cove, a project that’s been kicking around in various forms for at least two decades, has returned for town review.
This time the owners are Burma Road property’s owner, WC Coastal Development LLC and WC Upland Development LLC of East Providence, who want to build a marina village development with about 400 residential units and 350 marina slips, a retail and restaurant component, public restrooms, and dedicated public access to the water. The owners say they’re in the process of compiling a master plan submission to the town for the development.
The 45-acre undeveloped property — most of it a designated brownfield based on previous uses by the U.S. Navy — is bounded on the north by the Melville marina and on the south by the Weaver Cove public board ramp.
The proposal, which went before the town’s Design Review Board on Jan. 9 for a “conceptual review,” is actually a scaled-down version of an earlier project — with a different owner — that never materialized.
The area was approved for a 1,495-slip marina and industrial waterfront uses in 1995, and former owner, developer J. Brian O’Neill, had proposed nearly 1,000 housing units to be built there. Had it reached fruition, the project would have been Rhode Island’s largest marina.
The property was auctioned off in September 2018 for about $1.1 million.
According to backup information supplied by WC Coastal Development to the Design Review Board, the current proposal is for a mixed-use development of lesser density than previously put forward. The approximately 400 residential units consist of one- and two-bedroom townhome multi-family units.
The marina will include anywhere from 300 to 350 slips. (Some sections of the documents that WC Coastal Development presented call for about 300 slips, while others say 350.)
“As part of the Planned Marina Village Development, dedicated public access to the water and parking will be provided,” the plans state. “There will be a CRMC-designated greenway on the waterfront with dedicated public access. Ownership will maintain the public access and parking areas.”
According to WC Coastal Development, the current plan “contemplates 10 percent of the residential units will be designated as low- and moderate-income units.”
The project will include a coastal greenway, internal landscaping and buffering as needed, according to the applicant. Once design plans are developed, additional details will be provided.
According to WC Coastal Development, current efforts to remediate solid waste and hazardous materials left from former defense uses by the U.S. Navy in the area are expected to cost between $2 million and $4 million.
The site is divided by Burma Road as well as a railroad right of way owned by the State of Rhode Island. Sanitary sewer and potable water access/use are deeded to the parcels from the Navy.
The existing waterfront consist of nearly 4,000 feet of waterfront frontage. “There is also an existing coastal wetland on the site as well as the access to the town’s Weaver Cove boat ramp,” the developer stated. “The U.S. Navy maintains a sewage pump station on parcel No. 5, which is the largest parcel. There also exists a former office building on the site as well as other building remnants from past Navy uses.”