Oak Street Health coming to former New China Super Buffet

Oak Street Health coming to former New China Super Buffet

The New China Super Buffet on Diamond Hill Road will soon be home to a new health center. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)

WOONSOCKET – A space once known for overeating of fried food will soon be a hub of health, with Oak Street Health set to fill the former New China Super Buffet in the Diamond Hill Plaza at 2000 Diamond Hill Road.

Workers on scene confirmed that ongoing construction activity next to Subway is for a medical facility, and Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt said that facility will be run by Oak Street Health, a company that’s been in Rhode Island but will enter Woonsocket for the first time.

Oak Street Health markets itself as offering personalized and accessible primary care for adults on Medicare. Baldelli-Hunt said she sees it as a cross between an urgent care, a doctor’s office and a hospital, providing seniors with transportation to appointments and providing around-the-clock patient support as well as video visits and in-person visits.

Baldelli-Hunt said she met with the company about six months ago and representatives expressed interest in coming to the city, noting their interest at that time in renovating the former buffet restaurant. Construction was held up somewhat due to COVID-19, she said, but “they’re well on their way” now, with construction progressing and the company recently submitting signage plans.

Despite some claims otherwise, there has been a “big uptick in occupancies” over the last few years in this area of the city, said the mayor. She also highlighted improvements to other properties within the plaza, including to Price Rite and McDonald’s. Landing the new DMV space on the other end of the plaza was important for the city, particularly since it’s the second busiest after the Cranston headquarters, and the arrival of Olly’s Bargain Outlet was also big.

The mayor sees an interesting mix of business and medical uses in the area, including the new CSL Plasma coming to the Walnut Hill Plaza, the old Walmart across the street being purchased and turned into an Ocean State Job Lot and Tractor Supply, and Surplus Solutions buying the former Lowe’s building and using it for its refurbished medical supply business.

Certainly all this investment is proof that people are looking at the city and thinking it’s a good investment and place to call home, said Baldelli-Hunt. Having a medical facility instead of vacant space is important, as it brings people to the area and helps other businesses in the area, she said.

“Diamond Hill has come a long way in the last several years,” she said.

Waters Church also recently completed upgrades and moved to a new home nearby.

Several plazas on this stretch still have a high volume of vacancies.