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WPRO: Former Rhode Island Mall to become factory outlets

PowerPoint Presentation

Interior concept rendering from Winstanley Enterprises

The developers of the former Rhode Island Mall are hoping to open “The Outlets at Rhode Island Mall” late next year.

Winstanley Enterprises of Mass. and Surrey Equities of New York bought the mall back in 2012 and had previously planned to turn the vacant shopping center into several big-box stores.

I hate to say I told you so* about the big box concept but… I told you so.

The completed outlet mall would house between 40 and 60 outlet stores according to Silvera. He says it will have similar tenants to the Wrentham Outlets, but unlike Wrentham, it will not be an outdoor mall – they plan to keep the existing exterior of the Rhode Island Mall, but will completely renovate the inside.


The developer has a marketing brochure online

*Who am I kidding, I love to say I told you so.

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Warwick Beacon: RI Mall to have new life as home to big box retailers

…Winstanley sees the potential to attract larger retailers that are not yet present in the area, though he said it was premature to name any specifically.

Depending on retailer demands, Winstanley said the building could house either two or four large stores.

The preliminary phases of the project will continue over the next six to nine months, but Winstanley said people shouldn’t expect to see the mall re-open for at least two years. He said it will take at least a year to design and plan out the project and at least another year for construction.

Hasn’t the recession taught us that the age of the Big Box is coming to a close? Are there any retailers left to attract that aren’t already on Route 2?

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Putting a cone on the Rhode Island Mall

midlandmall 1970

Midland Mall in c.1970. Photo from Labelscar.com

Now that the owners have made it official, the Midland Rhode Island Mall will now, officially, be a dead mall, now what?

Speculation has long been that the holders of the master lease, Royal Ahold, parent company of Stop & Shop, was sitting on the property to keep the Walmart at the mall from expanding into a Supercenter, which would compete with area Stop & Shops. I imagine if Walmart wanted a Supercenter in the area, they’d find a way to open one. It’s not like Walmart has never closed a store before to open a bigger one.

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