Developer sworn to secrecy on Benny’s tenants

Developer sworn to secrecy on Benny’s tenants

SMITHFIELD – Representatives from the Carpionato Group, who are redeveloping the former Benny’s store on Putnam Pike into a new commercial complex, remain tight-lipped on planned tenants.

Carpionato Leasing Manager Peter Flynn said the company does not have any tenants locked in yet for 473 Putnam Pike. He reiterated that the building is planned to have a drive-thru restaurant, bank, and other retail space, and will bring excellent tenants to Smithfield.

Regardless of tenants, said Flynn, the development will be “really, really nice.”

“We’re sworn to secrecy to tenants until they’re done with the agreements,” Flynn said.

Though the group previously stated that the tenants’ identities will be released by the end of September, Flynn said he does not expect the announcement to be made for another three months.

“We will have the right tenants in there because of the huge investment we’ve made in the property,” Flynn said.

Smithfield Town Manager Randy Rossi said there is plenty of speculation around town about the new tenants. From the outside, the uniform structure and “cookie cutter” façade is not giving away any hints, he said.

“Maybe it’ll be exciting and make a big splash,” he said.

The Carpionato group purchased 29 of the 31 Benny’s locations when the retail chain store went out of business in December 2017. Many former locations were converted into Dollar General or Ace Hardware stores. Others became pet stores or grocers.

In a February interview with The Valley Breeze & Observer, Flynn said he expected the tenants at the Smithfield location to be different from others.

The redevelopment at the Greenville location split the original 146,514-square-foot building into two smaller buildings. The larger, an 18,000-square-foot building, will house a 15,000-square-foot retail store in the main building and a 3,000-square-foot bank with a drive-thru to the right. A separate 6,530-square-foot building will house a 4,210-square-foot restaurant with a drive-thru and a small retail space.

Flynn says construction is going great. Along with a new façade and roof, improvements to the property include parking lot circulation and front entrance modifications.

Flynn added that the development is receiving serious interest from local, retail, and national businesses.

The sale of the separate former Benny’s headquarters, located at the Esmond Mills at 340 Waterman Ave., is still pending, according to Rossi. Some suggestions of a potential microbrewery were made during a July Planning Board meeting where the zoning ordinance for microbreweries was changed to allow one in town.

The sale of the mill has been pending since January as negotiations have continued on the 540,272-square-foot property.