New home sales strong in Woonsocket despite pandemic

New home sales strong in Woonsocket despite pandemic

Sapphire Estates off Diamond Hill Road is one of three new housing developments going up around the city.

WOONSOCKET – The city is on track to add at least two dozen more homes in three developments to its housing stock by the end of the year, generating tens of thousands of dollars in residential tax revenue and boosting the median sale price in the city.

Three developments are currently going up off Diamond Hill and Mendon roads and have continued construction at a fast rate over the past few months.

Duane Boucher, principal broker of RE/MAX Premier Properties (formerly Boucher Real Estate) said the company is on track to complete nine new homes on Liane Drive, an extension of Sunset Avenue, by December. As of mid-June, the company had completed four of the nine homes and were selling them in the $320,000 to $350,000 range.

“They are selling pretty quickly because there’s a shortage of inventory on the market, and there’s still a lot of people out there,” he said.

Rather than slow home sales, Boucher said the COVID-19 pandemic has actually increased sales of new homes as some people delay putting their houses up for sale. With buyers still seeking homes, he said the situation has created a strong sellers’ market.

The new development includes a mix of raised ranch and colonial style homes off Diamond Hill Road near the Cumberland line. Boucher said the homes are targeted at first-time homebuyers and families interested in cul-de-sac living.

A short distance down Diamond Hill Road, a new, 28-home subdivision called Sapphire Estates has continued construction at a fast rate. Russell Thivierge, the builder behind the development, said he anticipates completing all 28 homes by the end of the year and has already sold 10 homes in the $400,000 range.

“Woonsocket and Sapphire Estates is a bargain,” he said. “At Sapphire, you’re getting three times the product for half the price compared to other surrounding cities.”

The development consists of one and two-story homes with luxury fixings and underground utilities. The new street, Theresa Marie Avenue, was named for Thivierge’s mother.

Thivierge said Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt was instrumental in helping find investors to back the development, which was initially proposed by city-based developer John Lacquerre.

A third development is continuing construction off Danielle Drive and Louise Street in the Oak Grove section of the city. Vikon Properties of Lincoln previously owned that project, but the company has sold it to Warwick-based developer Terrence Harrington, according to city Engineering Supt. Michael Debroisse.

Harrington couldn’t be reached for comment, but Vikon representatives said they had already completed 42 homes in phases one and two of the project when they sold it to the new owner last year. The original plans for the development included 80 homes on the Woonsocket/Cumberland line.

Three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes in the development have continued to sell for around $320,000, according to real estate listings.


This is good news for the City, but Woonsocket sure could use a supermarket with all of these new homes. City leaders should push for this.

OK, home sales are fine and dandy, but what about NEW businesses? That is what helps broaden the tax base. What has she done to bring in new business? Nothing that shows. We have huge parcels of land on Hamlet Ave, Manville Rd., and Social St, but has anything been brought there? How about a viable supermarket for the citizens? Sorry, but I am not impressed.

You could have had a Super Walmart if not for a small group that didn't want it in their backyard. So N Smithfield got it. They then got the big new Lowe's too. You should thank them for the inconvenience and your higher taxes. The plazas have been losing businesses ever since. NIMBYISM at its finest. Selfish goals and now everyone pays.

I have 3 Stop N Shops within 10 mins of my house. Then a Price Rite, Walmart, and Aldi’s nearby. That’s called saturation of the market. Explain to me why I should locate a supermarket into Woonsocket proper.