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Prospective new Metacomet owner petitions for zone change

Would eventually allow golf course to be redeveloped for mixed-use purposes

By Mike Rego
Posted 5/6/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — The prospective new owner of the Metacomet Country Club property has taken an initial step towards potentially reconfiguring the 500 Veterans Memorial Parkway parcel for …

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Prospective new Metacomet owner petitions for zone change

Would eventually allow golf course to be redeveloped for mixed-use purposes

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The prospective new owner of the Metacomet Country Club property has taken an initial step towards potentially reconfiguring the 500 Veterans Memorial Parkway parcel for mixed-use development by submitting a petition to change the existing zoning parameters of the land.

Marshall Development LLC is the applicant on the document, which sought to have the City Council refer its petition to the Planning Board for an advisory opinion. The council took up the matter at its Tuesday, May 5, virtual forum, another in a series of on-line meetings necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic. It backed the petition, allowing the process to move forward.

Marshall, which has its roots in East Providence and is currently headquartered in Narragansett Park Plaza at the city line with Pawtucket, is seeking to have the current zoning for the 138.27-acre parcel changed from that of “O-1”/Open Space to one of Waterfront District-New Metacomet Sub-District.

The amended zoning denotation would provide Marshall with a wide swathe of ways to redevelop the property. According to a table (see attached) of allowable uses included in the petition would be residential housing, retail business, eating and drinking establishments, lodging, offices, healthcare and professional services, recreation and culture and light industrial.

If the Planning Board advises the council to support the petition to rezone the land, a likely lengthy process would ensue. Several city departments would also consider the plan, the community would be engaged through public hearings and the council would have final say on which body — itself or the Waterfront Commission — would retain oversight.

Marshall Development entered into a purchase and sale agreement with Metacomet Property Company in February of 2020. The Metacomet Property Company includes Rhode Island golf legend Brad Faxon, former Wannamoisett Country Club head professional Steve Napoli, Tim Fay, Brendan VanDeventer and Karl Augenstein. The group purchased the club from its members for $2.2 million in early 2019.

The purchase and sale agreement between the interested parties has not been completed. The price of the transaction is unknown, although it is believed to be substantially more than what the current owners paid the Metacomet membership. In addition, a lawsuit filed by club members in March of 2020 seeking a temporary restraining order against Metacomet Property Group to halt the sale remains in the courts.

Golf has been played on the Metacomet grounds since the club opened in 1901. Some sources credit early 20th century architect Willie Park Jr. with its original design. It’s well-documented in the mid-1920s, another revered architect Donald Ross redesigned the layout, the routing and key elements of which remain basically to this day. According to records at the Given Memorial Library and Tufts Archives located in Pinehurst, N.C., noted regional course architect Geoffrey Cornish, who is credited with the original design of Crestwood C.C. in nearby Rehoboth, refreshed the layout in 1957.

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Meet our staff
Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.