Big Hearing for Lodges at Phenix Glen Tonight

The City Council is considering a zone change for the proposed 192-unit apartment complex in western Cranston. The public is invited to speak tonight.

Residents and the City Council  will have their say tonight in regards to The Lodges at Phenix Glen — a proposed 192-unit development off Phenix Avenue in Western Cranston that has faced strong resistance from some nearby residents.

The City Council meets tonight at 7 p.m. in the Cranston High School East auditorium to consider a zone change requested by developers The Procaccianti Group and TPG Development, who plan to develop the complex, which would include two large residential buildings, a clubhouse, movie theater, swimming pool and "the latest in upscale amenities," according to a company presentation.

The developers said the project would be a boon to the city's tax roles and rents would be above the city's average. The complex would attract older singles and adults looking for a resort lifestyle. The average age of renters would be 40 to 65 and the project would not include affordable housing.

But numerous residents told the commission that traffic would be terrible due to the proximity of the Route 37 on ramp, among other reasons.

Additional concerns include a potentially negative impact on surrounding property values, the potential for undesirable commercial activity within the complex, a drain on city services and an erosion of the rural character of the area.

Not everyone is vehemently opposed to the plan. Former City Councilman Aram Garabedian said the development is a lot better than what could otherwise be put on the land. An earlier proposal called for 80,000 square feet of commercial space and the land will be developed no matter what, he said.

Patch will be at tonight's meeting. Follow us on Twitter for live updates.

Joe The Plumber February 22, 2013 at 12:52 AM
What do you care? The developer will be paying the same taxes on the property if they have one or a hundred and one renters. That is their business. Not yours. What if some of your neighbors in your neighborhood went to florida half the year? Do their property taxes get cut in half?
Joe The Plumber February 22, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Maybe no one is interested except a few neighborhood troublemakers.
Joe The Plumber February 22, 2013 at 12:56 AM
High end units like these are more apt to be converted into condos. And that would be even more taxes paid to the city.
Concerned Resident February 22, 2013 at 02:34 AM
@ Joe The Plumber RE "High end units like these are more apt to be converted into condos. And that would be even more taxes paid to the city." You are assuming they'll actually build, and not sell the property if they get a zoning change. Ask the residents of Portland Maine about the TPG debacle up there. And in Richmond VA, they actually SUED the city council over taxes. Check it out everyone (long article, but read the whole thing. http://m.styleweekly.com/richmond/entangled/Content?oid=1378708 No way to explain that one away. Regarding brand new luxury apartments converting to condos: that scenario has NEVER happened in Cranston. And if you know of one please enlighten us with actual facts. RE: your other posts Obviously Becca cares or else she wouldn't be posting. Snide remarks are still not needed. You state the developer will be paying taxes, regardless. That is unless they default on their loan. The reason I say that is that they have a proven track record of doing that. And that is everyone's business. As a long time resident and business owner, you should be seriously concerned about that too. Lastly, many are interested. When a state representative (Matiello) and the former City Council president (lupino) take time to make multifaceted arguments against the project at a four hour council meeting, it speaks volumes.
Joe The Plumber February 22, 2013 at 04:16 AM
60 or 70 people from a city with over 80,000? Yup....
Concerned Resident February 22, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Only 100 residents in opposition showed up due to school vacation week vs 0 residents not affiliated with the developer or land owner in favor. That math is simple. Not one resident stood up in favor. Not one. Check the transcript that is available on the Patch. Joe, not once have you given solid facts. You refused to addrsss any other point I brought up in my previous post. If you truly are in favor of this project for all the right reasons, you may wish to try and solidify your standpoint with solid facts. Name calling and speaking in generalities (your opinion, unsubstantiated claims) does nothing for you or the developer- in fact, you're doing just the opposite: allowing factual discussions as to why this is an ill-conceived project for that parcel of rural land.
Joe The Plumber February 22, 2013 at 02:53 PM
You want a solid fact? Here is one for you! 100 people do not represent the interest of the 80,000 residents of Cranston. The other 79,900 residents don't spend nights lounging around City Council meetings, so we didn't attend. But we vote. And the City Council should think about that when they decide.
Concerned Resident February 22, 2013 at 03:04 PM
With that reasoning, then 0 people in favor certainly do not represent the interest of the 80,000 in Cranston. No residents are in support. And "The other 79,900 residents don't spend nights lounging around City Council meetings, so we didn't attend." Pardon me for laughing, but that doesn't seem like a valid fact. You deny the fact of school vacation accounting for a smaller opposition turn out, but say that supporters do not want to lounge around at meetings to show support? You'll have to do better than that to garner favor. The city council should think about those who have voiced their opinions, signed petitions,and review the data that was entered into public record. They should listen to seasoned professionals who have experience with such matters, and fact check. They will certainly see what the residents already know: a zoning change should be denied, and the project along with it.
Concerned Resident February 22, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Additionally, your thinking is flawed if you subscribe to putting your trust in elected officials: a council of 6 are to represent a city of 80,000...
Joe The Plumber February 22, 2013 at 04:45 PM
So, you are saying that the City Councilors are not able to make an informed decision based on what is best for the whole City rather than catering to the demands of 100 people? The City Planning Commission already did. That Commission has recommended approval of this development. I suppose the people on that Commission are wrong too? The only ones with "flawed thinking" here, are you and the rest of your conspiracy theorists friends.
Concerned Resident February 22, 2013 at 05:21 PM
I'm saying that the City Councilors are quite capable of an informed decision: zero resident supporters gives them all the information they need. If the CIty Planning Commission was so emphatic about this being the best thing since sliced bread, then why has the City Council met numerous times over this? Why wasn't it simply approved last year when the developer made their case? The reason being is there is much more going on here than meets the eye. Way to many unanswered questions about traffic, DOT permits, DEM permits, and true tax assessment values (even the council members were suspect if you read the transcript on the Patch). Not to mention the developer's business ethics: DEPCO and Westin Providence ring a bell? By the way, they just sold the Westin after promising so much to the city of Providence and their residents. Once again, you've enlightened the followers of this post with name calling and lack of facts. As others can see, it's difficult for me to have an honest debate when only one of us is prepared with solid facts.
Joe The Plumber February 22, 2013 at 06:37 PM
More conspiracy theories.... The City Council is reviewing it because they are the next step in the process. That's it. No conspiracy. No one trying to be sneaky. Just a company looking to invest its money in Cranston. In this economy, many of us who live and pay taxes here welcome and appreciate this kind of business. I'm just trying to balance the discussion here so that other businesses, who may hear about your group's anti-business attitudes, do not stay away from Cranston. We need new economic development. We need more companies to invest in Cranston. We need more jobs. We need new construction. I think there are enough wise people on the Council that know this and who should approve this project for the good of the entire City, rather than pandering to the special interests of your small group.
Cranston Resident February 22, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Right on Joe! This is a good example of why Rhode Island ranks last in the whole country as the most business un-friendly state.
Concerned Resident February 22, 2013 at 07:26 PM
The city council reviewed this in early 2012. Why hasn't it passed? And you read that as 'sneaky'" and "conspiracy" ?Seems you are jumping to conclusions. I stated above that there are many unanswered questions about this project, and that is why it wasn't approved immediately. No DEM permit. No DOT approval. No answers to traffic alleviation (repainting the road is laughable) No answer to question of drain on city services. No answers as to who will pay for all the items the developer states "they'll always pay for" if they default. Or sell. Think about that for awhile. Answer the question. Why wasn't this pushed through in 2012?
Concerned Resident February 22, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Agreed wholeheartedly: Cranston needs jobs, and economic development. RESPONSIBLE companies are welcomed with open arms all the time. RESPONSIBLE being the operative word. It's foolhardy to jump to accept anyone who puts on a good show with no backing information. That's intended for the developer and you. And it's hard to accept your opinion, seeing as you couldn't be bothered to show up and support this developer. It's easy to harass and name-call, ignore facts, ignore pointed questions, and provide no facts that can be verified. Balance the discussion? With what? My opinions are perceived as anti-business by you. Business owners everywhere would appreciate a city's attention to detail. Cranston shouldn't become a haven for people who do not play by the rules- There are definitely wise people on the council who will reject the zoning variance, and this oversized, ill-conceived monstrosity that is sure to increase traffic back ups and accident rates. Rejecting this is in the best interest of the entire city, regardless of your fact less opinions.
Concerned Resident February 22, 2013 at 07:37 PM
@ Cranston Resident- I'll bet it has something to do more concrete issues like the defaulting of 38 Studios- you know, the big name company that the state foolishly backed- and the fact that big companies, like this developer, who play games with their taxes: http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/07/rhode-island-nixes-tax-reform-said-to-favor-small-business/
jreese February 22, 2013 at 08:20 PM
@Joe the Plumber- 1st, your handle isn't even original, 2nd I've been following your little diatribe today and I have come to the conclusion you are either a troll situated deep inside TPG offices on Reservoir Avenue or you just don't get it because your whole argument is intellectually bankrupt.
Cranston Resident February 22, 2013 at 10:11 PM
This state being the most "anti-business" state in the entire country is not becuse we gave a business 75,000,000. It is because people here have an all around anti business attitude.
Joe The Plumber February 22, 2013 at 10:58 PM
Jreese, First, what does my handle have to do with the discussion??? I have used this handle and I have been commenting on the patch with it since the Cranston Patch began a couple of years now. So this is just another of your lame arguments? Secondly, I work for myself. I'm a plumber. I'm proud of the fact that I have had a business in Cranston for over 20 years, dealing with the crap of people like you. So, don't criticize people who make a living in the trades. We can't all be brain surgeons like you. Third, there is no problem with my argument. My proof is a recent study that found Rhode Island as the most business unfriendly state in the country. That is due to the views of idiots like you. You're apparently too dumb to get that.
Joe The Plumber February 22, 2013 at 11:01 PM
And you will decide which companies are RESPONSIBLE? I don't think so.
Joe The Plumber February 23, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Two years in a row! http://www.cnbc.com/id/100013885 FACT!!
Concerned Resident February 23, 2013 at 08:42 PM
@ Joe the plumber RE "And you will decide which companies are RESPONSIBLE? I don't think so." The City Council should decide. Is defaulting a a 29.5m loan responsible? Is having our very own state of RI SUE this developer responsible? I don't think so. How can you logically call them responsible? Facts only please.
Concerned Resident February 23, 2013 at 08:47 PM
@everyone, especially Joe- here's a little refresher on the Patch's Terms of Use agreement: Acceptable Use While we encourage people to be honest and post what’s on their mind, communities thrive when people care about each other, and as such, Patch expects all of its users to be respectful of others. This means that whether you are being complimentary or critical, whether you are agreeing or disagreeing with the subject of an article or another user’s comment, you should act in a civil manner and refrain from personal attacks – after all, these are your neighbors.
Joe The Plumber February 23, 2013 at 09:45 PM
So, Concerned Resident, First you want to control land use in Cranston, and now you want to control freedom of speech on the Patch. I guess when things don't go your way, or if you find yourself losing an debate, people like you just change the rules to suit yourself. Well CR, there plenty of Cranston Residents who disagree with your anti-business, self interests. And, we are sick of people like you, spreading fear and anger. This only results in our state and city ranking the most "business unfriendly" in the entire country. And when our politicians react to your selfish tactics, it is the reason that our state and city governments are ranked as the "worst run" on the country.
Joe The Plumber February 23, 2013 at 09:48 PM
Fact #2 Rhode Island ranked 49th in Best Run State in the country. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-best-and-worst-run-states-in-america-150415625.html
Concerned Resident February 23, 2013 at 10:15 PM
@Jtp They're not my words, they're thePatch's. you going to try to name-call on them too? Shameful. Debate? I'd hardly call non fact producing on your part a debate. You've never answered one of my points. And if there are residents who are not affiliated with the land owners or developers, they've been awfully quiet at the council meetings. Looks to me like there's only one or two supporters of this ill-conceived project. There's no DEM permit. No DOT permit, and sketchy math at best. The developer has been sued by RI, defaulted on a 29.5 million dollar loan, among others, and they've sued a city council in Richmond Virginia (references all cited above). Name calling should have no place here, as denoted by the Patch. I can see why you support the developer. You both don't like to play by the rules.
Concerned Resident February 23, 2013 at 10:17 PM
You sure do like to produce facts about RI being a poor business climate though. Right on! Maybe if we stopped indulging irresponsible developers, and did more legwork to bring quality companies to this state, that'd change.
Concerned Resident February 23, 2013 at 10:24 PM
And believe me, our state being the least friendly in RI has nothing to do with stopping this developer. Do you understand that the Procaccianti group owed the state of Rhode Island MILLIONS? http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PR2005_1st/Jan05_WestinDEPCO.html Do you understand that? And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Joe The Plumber February 24, 2013 at 03:08 AM
Thanks CR, You made my point perfectly.
Concerned Resident February 24, 2013 at 03:30 AM


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