Chase Bank set to replace Burger King

Chase Bank set to replace Burger King

The Burger King at 438 Putnam Pike may be gone soon if plans to demolish the fast-food restaurant and build a Chase Bank are approved. A public informational meeting will be held on Thursday, Feb. 13, at Town Hall, 64 Farnum Pike at 7 p.m. (Breeze photo by Jacquelyn Moorehead)
Several other projects on the docket

SMITHFIELD – Get your Impossible Whopper from Burger King while it’s still possible. Plans to tear down the fast-food chain restaurant on Route 44 to build a new Chase Bank are going before the Planning Board tonight, Thursday, Feb. 13, said Town Planner Michael Phillips.

Phillips said owners haven’t really given the reasoning behind demolishing the Burger King, located at 438 Putnam Pike, for a Chase Bank. A public informational meeting for the master plan review will be held starting at 7 p.m. Thursday at Town Hall.

Plans from owner Janco Central will raze the 4,682-square-foot Burger King and build a smaller, 3,470-square-foot Chase Bank at the 1.21-acre location. The bank will be a standalone building set closer to the street, and will have a freestanding drive-thru kiosk to the west of the building.

The kiosk will be similar to the freestanding Bank of America kiosk across the street at the Apple Valley Mall, 445 Putnam Pike.

Phillips said the timeline for the build is still in its early stages, and will need to go to the Zoning Board for several setback variances.

He expects the Zoning Board to hear the variances in March, including a permit to operate a bank with a drive-thru ATM on premises, front setback reduction from 40 feet to 5 feet, setback from center of road reduction from 100 feet to 50 feet, setback reduction from 50 feet to 5 feet, and parking setback from center of road from 75 feet to 50 feet.

Thursday night’s Planning Board meeting features loaded agenda with several large developments, including the Earl Grey Estate (Tea Lots), Smithfield Village, and the comprehensive plan review of the contentious low-to-moderate-income table H-25.

Smithfield Village will likely take its final turn at the Planning Board Thursday night for a final plan review of the large development on the corner of Putnam Pike and Esmond Street.

Since returning from the Zoning Board of Review with the reversal of the Planning Board’s denial in June, plans for the 27-building residential and commercial development have moved forward.

Phillips said the plans remain mostly unchanged since preliminary plan approval last June.

Plans include a traffic mitigation plan with reviews at 80 percent built-out and one year after the full build, left-turn lanes onto and off Esmond Street, added left-turning lanes on Esmond Street by Julien Street, the widening of Esmond Street, and adding a sidewalk on the west side of Esmond Street to Route 44.

“We should be all set,” Phillips said.

He said developers worked with nearby landowners to ensure the future development’s traffic can be supported.

The Earl Grey Estates off Douglas Pike and Ridge Road is still in its pre-application review, and Phillips believes the adjustments made to density and layout will satisfy the Planning Board.

At previous meetings, board members expressed concern that the development did not include enough low-income and moderate-income housing units in the plan.

Initially, developers proposed 152 one-bedroom and two-bedroom units within 76 duplex buildings, with 10 percent of the units, or 15, meeting the LMI criteria. At the November Planning Board meeting, developers scaled back the plans to 139 units, with 16 LMI units.

Phillips said new plans will meet the 20 percent LMI minimum requiremente and receive a 20 percent density bonus adding more market-rate units to the project. New plans will have a total of 140 units with 120 market-rate single-family units and 20 LMI units on 42 acres.

Phillips said he believes the board will be satisfied by the changes.

Comprehensive plan review consultants Horsley Witten will update the Planning Board on housing strategies and table H-25, which identifies 33 locations throughout Smithfield as properties that could accommodate high-density housing for LMI units.

Residents and abutters criticized table H-25 when the Sand Trace development was passed through the Planning Board with high-density development on a rural parcel.

One resident called it the “H-25 hit-list” that stripped residents of rights and protections afforded by zoning laws. Phillips said the table was created to reach the state-mandated 10 percent affordable housing stock in each town.

When asked if there will be changes, Phillips said, “Yeah, there will definitely be.”

Plans show a proposed development for Chase Bank on Putnam Pike where Burger King currently sits. The proposed bank will be closer to the street, without a drive-thru but a stand-alone ATM kiosk.

Comments

Last couple of months the quality of service here has really dropped off. Guess this explains it.

Number of banks in this area is going to be a little ridiculous, once the new plaza in the former Benny's location opens there will be no fewer that six within eye shot of this Chase.

Nuf sed.

Why???? Did anyone stop to count all the banks we have just in Greenville??? Two Citizens, Navigant, BoA, Bank RI, Pawtucket Credit Union, the new one at old Benny’s...That is seven banks with two miles! Do we not deserve something else?? We could have had a Trader Joe’s in Benny’s. We have the demographic in Smithfield/Johnston/N. Smithfield area and the closest is in Warwick. And how many coffee shops and fast food restaurants do we need?? There are many types of retail/ restaurant that would thrive in our demographic. We do not need another bank.