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Council Mulls Rhodes Deal, Animal Feeding, Dollar Tree Move

Warwick Police Headquarters at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
Warwick Police Headquarters at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
Warwick Police Headquarters at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.

WARWICK, RI — H.A. Fisher Homes proposes taking Christopher Rhodes Elementary School, on Sherwood Avenue, off Warwick’s hands, including asbestos remediation, for an estimated $325,000, a deal Warwick City councilors will consider tonight.

The developer plans to convert the property — zoned residential with 7,000 square foot minimum lot sizes — into 29 single-family houses. Access to the residential development will be through Sherman Avenue, the existing street leading into the Christopher Rhodes property. There will be no direct access from neighborhood side streets,  and Nelson and Putnam Streets.

“Should the City Council approve the sale of the land, the prospective buyer intends to begin demolition of the old building, as soon as permits are granted, within 30 days of a sale being finalized,” said Councilman Jeremy Rix in an email to about 100 Norwood neighborhood members who signed up for email updates about the issue.

“Virtually everyone in the neighborhood whom I’ve spoken with, at the meeting and afterwards, are in favor of single-family homes as opposed to multi-family homes, condominiums, or commercial development,” Rix wrote in the email.

Rix also credited Mayor Joseph Solomon with helping to negotiate about $208,000 more for the property than the $117,000 offered in the initial proposal.

“Mayor Solomon made Rhodes a top priority, and acted promptly to receive the information the City needed to evaluate the bid: an independent estimate of the cost to tear down and mitigate the property, and, an independent appraisal of the property’s value.  With this information, the City was able to negotiate for a higher price from the sole bidder,” Rix wrote in his email.

Rix added that he Council is also planning to consider a rezoning plan that would allow Dollar Tree to build a new building where old boarded-up buildings currently stand on Warwick Ave., across Atlantic Ave. from the CVS. 

“Dollar Tree would be relocating from its store by the Shaw’s. The Planning Board approved the plan unanimously, 9-0, after Dollar Tree met with local residents and included stipulations to address their concerns,” Rix wrote. 

The Council is also hearing Rix’s wildlife feeding ordinance to address rodent issues in the Norwood neighborhood.

A full account of the regular public meeting agenda is embedded below: 02-25-2019-Regular-Public-Hearing-Docket-Amended2-1

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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