Providence will soon have a Home Depot.
Construction began earlier this month on the $15 million project on Charles Street. The 117,000-square-foot "big box" hardware superstore will stand where the 455,000-square-foot Silver Spring mill building once stood.
Kelly Coates, senior vice president of Johnston-based Carpionato Properties, the project's developer, said it has moved along slowly but steadily. The mill building that had to be demolished was about half the size of Providence Place, he said. The developer also agreed to build the Home Depot so it wouldn't look like the traditional tan and orange mass that has become a trademark of sorts for the corporation.
"This one is much more expensive," said Coates relating the cost to other area Home Depot stores. "The new North Kingstown Home Depot didn't have any of these issues. In addition, Home Depot has agreed to build two sides of this building with brick, which is another cost."
The decision about the bricks came from a request by the Providence Preservation Society.
Executive Director Catherine Horsey said she is happy with the compromises the developer and the corporation are planning to make the building more aesthetically appropriate.
"Through the Planning and Architectural Review Committee of the Providence Preservation Society we were able to have an impact on the way the building is going to look, so it won't look like a suburban Home Depot," she said.
She said Carpionato Properties were very compliant with the requests, and, in turn, Carpionato Properties said Home Depot was also agreeable.
"I think most companies coming into a community are able to abide by guidelines that each community has established," said Horsey. "That's why it's important that we have these sorts of guidelines."
Coates said the permitting process for the project was not easy.
"There were quite a few hurdles," he said. "There were about 25 permits we had to get."
There was also quite a bit of asbestos in the old mill site, he said.
"But now all demolition is completed, all foundations are moved, and the soil contamination is being cleaned up," he said. "The actual building is going to begin sometime in December."
Coates expects the Providence Home Depot to open next spring or summer, and says it will employ approximately 250 people.