The Mission

Purchase an 81-acre peninsula overlooking Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay and Wickford Harbor. The property included a detailed set of plans for luxury condominiums, with all of the necessary town approvals in place.

The Solution

The more we walked the site and took in the spectacular views of Narragansett Bay with its diverse flora and fauna, the more we questioned the condominium proposal. Recognizing the site’s inherent value, we systematically assessed two alternative development schemes: a traditional single-family subdivision and a planned village community. We concluded that the compactness of the village community would better preserve the coastal features and protect the fragile estuary. Although this strategy carried greater risk, it also offered a better outcome.

Under this plan, we developed Wickford Point, a 103-lot community of shingle-style homes that mixes architectural styles from Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Stonington and Southampton. By placing the houses closer together and within 20 feet of the street, the neighborhood was able to capture more of a streetscape and the feeling of a seacoast village. The streets were laid out in narrow village lanes instead of in the traditional 40-foot subdivision configuration. Brick sidewalks, fences, street lights and privet hedges reinforce the village feel. The result received the enthusiastic blessing of town officials and local residents alike.

The Details

By following a strategic real estate planning process, Gilbane was able to identify valid development options, assess the potential risk and reward, then select the best development solution. Laying the proper groundwork enabled us to attain market acceptance with a plan that preserved the coastal features, maintained a sense of place and created a beautiful and inviting community.