Construction projects delayed amid shutdown

Construction projects delayed amid shutdown

LINCOLN – With Lincoln Town Hall closed to the public and increasing restrictions on public gatherings amid the coronavirus outbreak, a long list of major construction projects on the docket for potential approval this month have been temporarily halted.

Before the shutdown, the Lincoln Planning Board was preparing to hear from a number of developers concerning residential and commercial projects at the end of March.

One of those projects, which calls for a pair of 22-unit apartment buildings called Breakneck Hollow, was up against its deadline for approval when everything came to a grinding stop last week.

Town Planner Al Ranaldi was prepared to ask the Planning Board to vote on the project on March 25, the last possible day it could be approved.

In addition to Breakneck Hollow, the Planning Board was scheduled to hear from the developer behind the 55-and-older condominium complex proposed for land across from Town Hall.

The Whipple-Cullen Farm development off Old River Road had been denied by the Planning Board in 2016, but the decision was overturned by the State Housing Appeals Board three years later.

The project, which was scheduled for a public informational hearing, calls for 150 age-restricted units made up of 75 duplexes along a private road.

According to project plans, a total of 38 units will be designated as affordable.

The development would be accessible via Old River Road and George Washington Highway. The two existing fields running along Old River Road would be preserved as open space.

Another significant development delayed due to the coronavirus is Walker Lofts, the redevelopment of former mill buildings in Saylesville.

That project calls for a total of 128 apartment units, with 32 restricted as low and moderate-income housing. The complex by Walker Lofts L.P. is proposed to have 99 one-bedroom units, 22 two-bedroom units and seven three-bedroom units.

Other projects up for discussion included an addition to Bank Rhode Island’s Lincoln headquarters, two new commercial buildings on Wellington Road and a minor subdivision on Boulevard Avenue.

It’s unclear how long Town Hall functions will be limited to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

So far, Ranaldi said the state has given officials an extension of one month, until April 30, to review the projects.

“I don’t know whether this will be over by (April 30), but we will see how things go over the next couple of weeks,” he said.