The last piece of steel for the latest phase in the Chapel View development in Cranston, which has become a centerpiece of the city's economic development strategy in recent years, was hoisted in place last week.
The new building, known as Building 4000, will be completed this winter and will bring a new Staples, two restaurants and more office space that will afford tenants spectacular views of Cranston and Providence.
Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung signed the final steel beam to be hoisted up before construction at Building 4000 shifts to the next phase which will result in a structure of dryvit, stone and glass to blend in with the rest of the Chapel View development and the historic church.
The $8.5 million project created 35 construction jobs, will create 175 full and part time positions once complete and adds $150,000 in extra tax revenue into city coffers, according to a release.
"This is adding to the beauty of the center — the heart of the city of Cranston here at Chapel View," Fung said moments before signing his name in silver ink on the beam."
"And it's been a long time coming," Fung said.
The final building could be considered the capstone for a project that would have been impossible if not for the vision of Alfred Carpionato, leader of Carpionato Group, LLC., the development company that shares his name.
Carpionato saw value in the property, which was the former location of the state's reform school for boys, and had a hunch that a high end, mixed-use development could succeed. And there was the compulsion to invest in his home town. A longtime Cranstonian, Carpionato wanted to build more than a new shopping center and office complex. He wanted to build a crown jewel.
The company began buying chunks of the property in the 1990s. Fung, at the capping ceremony last week, said he has been working with the company and its representatives for years, dating back to his City Council days.
Kelly Coates, a senior vice president at Carpionato Group, said Fung "has been a visionary since day one" and "saw what others couldn't see" when the project's early stages were underway.
"He's been our advocate and Cranston means business," Coates said. "And they help people who want to do business."