What Would You Put Here?

This large storefront on Metacom Avenue is sitting vacant. What should occupy that space?

Ocean Plaza sits in a busy stretch of Warren, surrounded by restuarants, stores and banks. But one large storefront in the 601 Metacom Avenue shopping plaza sits vacant.

Is this a new retail store waiting to happen or is should there be other use for the vacant building? What would you like to see in Ocean Plaza? Put on your thinking caps and let us know your suggestions in the comments section below. And feel free to support or oppose any other suggestion. After all, a robust debate is the best way to come to the best conclusion.

surfcaster70 May 30, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Trader Joe's would be nice but I believe Stop & Shop owns the plaza and they like not having any competition around.
David Silvia May 30, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Dmv, Dpt of Human Svc, Dpt of Labor & training
Brian York May 30, 2012 at 07:56 PM
work out world
Pamela M Fernandes May 31, 2012 at 11:15 AM
Barnes and Noble!! Whoohooooooo...
Sportsmom May 31, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Miranda P May 31, 2012 at 12:14 PM
I'm with Ray Andrews! If not that, maybe a MARSHALL's
Diane sirpenski May 31, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Didn't know Stop and Shop owned that Plaza...I was going to suggest a reasonably priced Supermarket ie. Price Rite or something...sick of the daylight robbery from Stop and Shop
Melanie Michaud May 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Barnes and Noble sounds great!! or a Christmas Tree Shop!
mimi s May 31, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Dave's Market Place
Malcolm Davidson May 31, 2012 at 12:50 PM
The area does not need more stores, there are sufficient numbers in the area. What should be put there is the following "Multi-functional, mixed use facilities". All of the utilities can easily be provided to make this happen; 1. Work space for some start up businesses. 2. Some low and medium income, starter apartments 3. A small day care center The businesses can employ some of the residents of the apartments. The businesses can share some common functions, such as bathrooms, toilets, conference rooms etc. The day care center takes care of the children of the staff of the startups, plus others from the renters. This synergistic type of development is environmentally friendly, effective and builds community. If space allows there could also be a small college extension progam which uses the conference room and other facilities to teach the interested community computer skills and so on.
Gina May 31, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I agree Miranda...I like Ray's idea...but would also like to have a store to go get clothing & shoes, etc...as opposed to going & spending the money on Rt. 6 in Massachusetts all the time. Yes I do know we have a few Boutique & Consignment shops in the area ( which I do frequent )...but with the loss of Jamiels Shoe, and no other option with a wider selection of clothing, I think it would be the right time for it.
nan May 31, 2012 at 01:13 PM
See http://bristol-warren.patch.com/articles/fill-this-warren-storefront-ocean-state-plaza for previous discussion of the same location and some really good suggestions. The hangup always seems to be the supposedly high rent by supposedly an old supermarket. No one can afford the rent and no other supermarket could rent there. That was the story anyway.
Pirate Mommy May 31, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Walmart or Target would be great. Then we could buy stuff in our own town and the taxes would go to own town instead of Seekonk, MA. The town of Warren could use some new revenue. I drive thru town an all I see are gold stores and failing antiques. If either one of these stores would open Bristol, Barrington and Warren would all shop at them. Gee! wouldn't be nice if we did have to give our money to Massachusetts too...Rhode Island needs a boost too!
eastbay mermaid May 31, 2012 at 02:28 PM
I agree with "Pirate Mommy". I think a multi-service store (Target etc) would be great! Warren could use the revenue. I would rather give my business to our town rather than Swansea or Seekonk. I don't think we need a market there. We have a Stop & Shop and Shaws close by not to mention Tom's! I'm also not oppossed to the DMV idea or town offices, but I think a store of some kind would be more benificial financially.
Mrs. B May 31, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Jack Baillargeron May 31, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Seems to me a lot of the problems with Ocean State plaza has been the rents, if I remember right, and I can not recall it ever was totally full over the past 25 years. It sounds more like an owner or realty problem. Would be nice to some small local businesses be able to move there, but I suspect again the rental and unwillingness of who ever the owner is to subdivide for quanity of businesses vs larger franchises, is seems also, which never seem to last. Another idea just off the top of my head, would be a flea market type thing during the spring and summer for locals to sell things and maybe space for the local farmers to expand their wares there also, in these economic times that, lets face it, are not going away in this state anytime soon may be a reasonable choice for a lower rent or small percentage of sales in lieu of rent or both possibly. Though I would not cry if a Denny's or IHOP fanchise owned by a local moved in one othe spots. love their hash browns and Steak n Eggs lol.
Jack Baillargeron May 31, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Problem with a walmart or target are that they build their own buildings and rarely if ever rent, and the land does not appar to be large enough for those stores, as they have set square footage they build and parking spaces are based on that number, especially now with both in the food market included in the stores. Sorry for the downer ;-{ so the whole property, would have to be sold to them. I think that is doubtful. But you never know.
Jack Baillargeron May 31, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Have to check the town tax records some day, as that story has been around for a while, I do not think it would be Valueland that was ther 25 years ago, though I have seen some say it is Stop n Shop main company, though that is in Holland. Maybe someone could post the owner or company, might be worth having the local council have a sit down with him for a small business iniative. Just a thought anyway.
Greg Parisi May 31, 2012 at 04:38 PM
That spot isn't big enough for a Target or Walmart. Sadly, Job Lot moved in to the really big empty spot in that plaza and left a medium size location empty. Something should go there that's not a cash-4-gold or antique shop. We have waaaay too many of those in Town. I'd like to see that entire plaza town down and put in an ice rink as there are none open year round between Fall River and Cranston. What ever happened to the proposed Stop & Shop gas station that was to be in that lot?
Jack Baillargeron May 31, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Agree with first Paragraph ;-} Disagree with second, I would prefer something with more jobs is all. Though would be great to have hockey games close by. Think the enviromentalist put the kabosh on the SS thingy.
Gina May 31, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Perhaps we could turn it into an Antique Mall ... maybe open 24/7 with a drive thru .. :)
Bernie May 31, 2012 at 11:37 PM
I like the idea of giving some small businesses an opportunity to open some stores. We do need some clothing and shoes stores. Nothing too pricey though. I would like to see more people shopping local instead of going to Massachusettes.
MBW June 01, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Trader Joe's would be fantastic there!
nan June 01, 2012 at 01:48 PM
There is a void left by the Salvation Army left in this community. But they said they moved out because of the rent. I really like Jack B.'s suggestion of a sit-down with the owner and some local business-initiative committee. This is the kind of problem that needs investigation and aggressive problem solving. Ditto for other key vacancies.
Erin Asciola June 01, 2012 at 01:49 PM
great idea, Pam!
nan June 01, 2012 at 01:52 PM
NAPA auto parts store? All these auto body shops and mechanics in the neighborhood. Could they use a closer supply source? Where's the nearest NAPA, Seekonk? Someone once suggested a call-center/IT use for the spot. How about a modern employment office with HR managers, job listings, even temp listings. Workshops on interview skills, resume help. Warren used to have this on Metacom. What do people do for that nowadays, go to Prov? Search at home alone online?
Andrea Smiley June 01, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Nan, we are getting an Auto Zone where Ferrazano Flowers was.
Jack Baillargeron June 01, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Though I am not a resident of Warren, I would suggest that a few of the commentors here, email thier Council members requesting they have the sit down I suggested to look at way to finally fill this plaza with jobs, we need more public involvement in thse things in these economi times. We cannot expect councilors who do have a lot on their plate to know all the wants or to have all the answers. So how about a few of you e mail suggestions to them or you could also go to a meeting to suggest things. The best one to me is a resolution to have the sit down with the owners of this plaza on stimulating, businesses to move there,not from local, towns close by, but from futher away so as to create diversity and new job growth. Merely click on the link and it should open your e mail program or paste it in your e-mail program in the "to Box". Warren Town Council 401-245-7554 Christopher W. Stanley, President voteforstanley@cox.net David S. Frerichs, Vice-President dbffarm@aol.com Davison Bolster davisonbeaux@juno.com Scott Lial scottlial@gmail.com Catherine A. Tattrie riemt@aol.com
Jack Baillargeron June 01, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Forgot, as allways, be respectfull ad use their whole name i.e. Mr. Ms. "Name" etc' Though we all are hard on them at times because they are politicians lol. You do get more with sugar, than lemons or what ever than saying is ;-}
Jack Baillargeron June 01, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Well auto zone is by far, a large store, I fear it will also put Samson's, which is about a 1,000 ft away or out of business, a great local store I and im sure many others have used for decades, though I will continue to use it unless they do not have the part. keeping these local business open are also a good thing in my opinion.


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