Carpionato gears up for purchase, new uses for 29 Benny's stores

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By this time next year, many of those Benny’s stores that closed this year will have re-opened as restaurants, coffee shops, retail operations and, quite possibly, supermarkets and some office space.

That’s the plan following last week’s announcement that Carpionato Group, based in Johnston, would be buying the 29 stores for an undisclosed price at the beginning of the new year.

There’s a lot of work to be done between now and the closing and even more work once the deal is finalized and the iconic Benny’s trademark disappears from storefronts across the state. In an interview Friday Kelly Coates, senior vice president for Carpionato, said 200 people are currently working on putting the Benny’s deal together. He said the team is conducting environmental assessments of store sites, determining zoning and deed restrictions, assessing the condition of buildings, building locations relative to curb cuts as well as site landscaping. Surveys need to be done and architects are drafting various proposals for each of the sites.

Coates said no one tenant would occupy all the sites, although there may be common retailers or stores such as a Starbucks, Chipotle, Smashburger or Jersey Mike’s in a number of locations.

“We’re looking at all options,” he said.

While Carpionato has built and operates two hotels in Warwick – the Crowne Plaza and the Holiday Inn Express – Coates doesn’t see hotels on any of the sites. There could be some office and possibly even some medical office space at some of the locations, potentially even a supermarket.

Overall, Coates said, the Benny’s sites have good visibility, are on grade and are good locations. The intent is to open the doors to former Benny’s as quickly as feasible in an effort to sustain traffic.

“The neighbors [neighboring retail operations] all get hurt when a Benny’s closes,” said Coates.

Coates listed the work to be done as including the replacement of roofs, facades, HVAC systems, repaving lots and, in many cases, the reconfiguration of space to accommodate new uses.

“When you’re talking about 29 roofs, 29 HVACs and 29 facades, that’s why you get to $100 million pretty quick,” he said.

He said the $100 million is a “conservative” estimate for conversion of the stores. He projected the work as creating 350 construction jobs.

In terms of the permanent jobs, those that would replace the lost 715 Benny’s jobs, Coates put the number at 1,000, of which he estimated 80 would be store managers.

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richardcorrente

One thing is for sure. If Alfred Carpionato is building it, they will come. His construction is absolutely first class, and there is no doubt that he will give a massive face-lift to all these shopping centers. The result will be new jobs, new customers, new home buyers, new businesses, new tax revenue, and a higher quality-of-life for us all. Warwick painfully lost 715 jobs when Benny's closed. Kelly Coates is only predicting that the new jobs will "put the number at 1,000". I think that he is being very conservative. I would say the total jobs created is more in the 1,800 to 2,000 range, especially with all the new businesses they will create.

In the long run, this is probably one of the best things that has ever happened to Warwick. And it all started with the The Crowne Plaza of several decades ago, the crowning achievement of City Councilman Joe Gallucci.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, December 6
CrickeeRaven

Yet again, the fake "mayor" can not resist misrepresenting the facts: " Warwick painfully lost 715 jobs when Benny's closed."

The 715 jobs lost were in all of the former Benny's stores across the state, not just Warwick. This lie is consistent with his other disproven claims about businesses in Warwick, which are among the many reasons that honest, taxpaying voters in Warwick will overwhelmingly reject his candidacy again next November.

Wednesday, December 6
richardcorrente

Dear CrickeeRaven,

I stand corrected. I should have said "715 jobs, many of which were in Warwick". But please don't distract the reader away from the main point. Carpionato will bring in many more jobs than Warwick lost. Can we agree on that my anonymous critic?

Merry Christmas, whoever you are.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, December 6
CrickeeRaven

"I should have said '715 jobs, many of which were in Warwick.'"

Finally, the fake "mayor" admits that he should more carefully consider his words before carelessly posting fraudulent statements on this website -- and then resorts to his prior form of complaining about the use of screen names on this site while again using his own imaginary title.

He will certainly continue to humiliate himself in his future comments.

Wednesday, December 6
Scal1024

Rick, funny how you talk about the terrible condition of this city for years...yet you predict many businesses will move into Warwick and create more jobs. Or as you said many more jobs than even Mr Carpionato predicted. If the climate is so bad here, why would businesses move to this city and create 1,800-2,000 jobs? As usual you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. Another sign you are in for a thrashing at the ballot box.

Friday, December 8
CrickeeRaven

Hello again Scal1024:

Thank you for again highlighting the essential problem with the words of the fake "mayor," specifically that he seems to believe he can say two contradictory things and insist that they are both true.

It leads me to wonder how the fake "mayor" expects a different result from his failure in 2016 when he proves through his words that he believes voters in Warwick are too stupid to see through his lies and flip-flops.

As a frequent reader, I am sure you've seen the multiple occasions where the fake "mayor" repeats claims that have been thoroughly discredited; this indicates to me that he harbors the delusion that there is a group of gullible voters who just haven't read his disproven talking points yet, and that if he posts them on this site often enough, they will eventually see his statements and vote for him, despite the fact that so many of them have been proven to be lies.

Thank you for showing the fake "mayor" that he is wrong to think that voters in Warwick will not learn the truth about him, and that he is wrong to think his campaign will end in anything other than another humiliating and decisive loss.

Friday, December 8
richardcorrente

Dear Scal1024,

Haven't heard from you in a while.

Thanks for pointing out that I give credit when due and I also criticize when due. It isn't "talking out of both sides of my mouth" Scal, it's being honest. And the honest truth is Carpionato will benefit our City but 17 years of annual tax increases have harmed it much, much more.

Merry Christmas Scal1024.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

4 days ago
CrickeeRaven

"...17 years of annual tax increases have harmed it much, much more."

The 2017-18 budget also increases tax revenue, which was the fake "mayor's" basis for accusing actual Mayor Avedisian for last year's budget, yet he ignores that fact for this year's budget because the city council is completely made up of Democratic members.

[The 2016-17 budget actually lowered the tax rate while revenues increased. This year, the tax rate is staying the same while tax revenue is projected to increase by $1.7 million.]

As far as harm to the city, the fake "mayor" would undoubtedly do more with his continued lies, which tens of thousands of honest, taxpaying voters understand, They will prove this by decisively rejecting his candidacy again next November.

4 days ago
CrickeeRaven

"Thanks for pointing out that I give credit when due and I also criticize when due."

No reasonable person would deduce that from Scal's prior comment, further underscoring the fake "mayor's" sole success in making a humiliating spectacle of himself.

Thankfully, he is showing his complete unfitness for office with every new comment and giving honest, taxpaying voters more reason to decisively reject his candidacy next November.

3 days ago