Planner Piche buys vacant Smith Street building, envisions revival in Centredale

Planner Piche buys vacant Smith Street building, envisions revival in Centredale

Developer Shane Piche, a member of the North Providence Planning Board, stands in front of 1985 Smith St., a vacant building he has purchased in hopes of helping to revitalize Centredale. Piche has also started Centredale Revival LLC, and is in the process of negotiating purchase of other buildings in the area. (Breeze photos by Robert Emerson)

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Shane Piche, a developer and member of the North Providence Planning Board, has purchased a building at a prominent spot at the mouth of the Centredale roundabout, part of a broader personal plan, he says, to help revive the old village.

Piche purchased the 5,000-square-foot building at 1985 Smith St. for $360,000. The building, the largest of its kind in the village, according to Piche, has been vacant since 2005, he said, after being home to various tenants over the years. It is located up the street from North Providence Town Hall.

In conjunction with his purchase, Piche has founded Centredale Revival LLC, a company he said he hopes will eventually help revive Centredale to the point where it’s on par with such busy commercial areas as Hope Street or Pawtuxet Village. He said he and his wife are also in negotiations on a few other pieces of property in the area.

His goal, said Piche, is to “attract some staples” to his building, which also has a 2,500-square-foot clean basement. He said he envisions a mix of uses, including great office space and a nice destination pizzeria or other eatery, preferably a “Rhode Island brand.”

Under the Centredale Revival brand, Piche envisions a multi-faceted effort to improve life and business in the village, potentially working with others to remove “some old obsolete buildings” to add more parking for visitors. He said he’s already approached Mayor Charles Lombardi and Town Council members about his ideas.

“I just want to create a place we can all be proud of,” he said.

Other town officials have expressed agreement that traffic issues in the Centredale roundabout should be addressed with such additions as new reflectors, said Piche. Ongoing issues with people ignoring the merging rules of the roundabout or driving straight across its center island could be addressed with the addition of a monument or something else, he said.

It was shortly after his election loss to Town Councilor Alice Brady in 2014 when his family came to a crossroads, said Piche. Owner of a general contracting company that does all its own renovation and construction work, he was targeting land in Scituate to build a home and move out of town, but a Centredale development by Brad Aubin and Kristine Teto at the foot of his street, the Hopscotch Room, convinced him that North Providence was worth investing in.

“He (Aubin) was the one who inspired me,” he said.

Over the past four years, “the town has done a 180” when it comes to commercial development, and the work by Aubin and Teto to reimagine several buildings within Centredale has been one of the most significant success stories, he said. Aubin’s goal of bringing back the old world village inspired him, said Piche.

Since changing his mind on North Providence, Piche said he’s made a personal investment by building an addition onto his own home, which is located in Woodhaven behind Greystone School, within walking distance of Centredale.

Centredale, a village on the western edge of town, still has a long way to go to return to its former glory, said Piche, and the effort will need dedicated developers and proponents to make it happen.

“I want to see us be better,” he said.

The immediate goal is to take on run-down buildings and revitalize them, said Piche. Old pictures of Centredale show a much different look, with “beautiful porches and peaks.” Those were eventually largely replaced with brick facades.

North Providence Planning Board member and developer Shane Piche, left, North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi, and North Providence Department of Public Works Director Bernie Salvatore discuss proposed changes to the Centredale rotary on Monday morning. A nearby monument could be moved to the center of the rotary to cut down on traffic incidents, says Piche. The building Piche recently bought is visible in the background.
Developer Shane Piche sits behind the desk in his 1985 Smith St. building on Monday morning.

Comments

The planning board main job is community planning. so mr piche a member of this board starts a private corporation called Centredale Revival LLC, a company he said he hopes will eventually help revive Centredale to the point where it’s on par with such busy commercial areas as Hope Street or Pawtuxet Village. He said he and his wife are also in negotiations on a few other pieces of property in the area.
are you kidding me? this is whats wrong with this town back door deals at its best

Shane Piche has every right to establish a business in North Providence. But he should have the moral character to remove himself from the Planning Board in this situation. THIS Is A CONFLICT OF INTEREST! His vote would unfairly prejudice the outcome of decisions presented to the Planning Board to his financial advantage. Remove yourself from the Board Shane Piche!

They don't even hide it nowadays. They do it right out in the open. Holy cow! I'm on the Planning Board and I'm going to develop properties and vote on property development that may compete with me and my wife. You can't make this stuff up! This kid has gall. I'll give him that. Hehehe...