Updated March 25 at 12:28am

Garden City to expand, upgrade


CRANSTON – The Garden City shopping center on Route 2 will be renovated and expanded with a new 20,000-square-foot building, the plaza’s management company announced Monday.

The reconfiguration will involve the breaking up of retail spaces formerly held by larger tenants into mid-size and smaller specialty stores.

Women’s clothing brand Ann Taylor will open a new store in the complex and cookware retailer Williams Sonoma will move from its current space into a larger one that used to house Eddie Bauer, managers from The Wilder Companies said.

Other stores including Mel & Me, Starbucks, Providence Diamond Company, Hallmark and Yankee Candle have agreed to make significant exterior improvements and sign multi-year leases.

“Retailing in the United States has changed, and Garden City Center needs to provide retailers and consumers with the atmosphere, amenities and experience they want in a 21st-century shopping center,” said The Wilder Companies Principal Thomas V. Wilder in a news release. “These plans reflect the desires of shoppers who are looking for more retail options, while meeting the space demands of today’s most desirable retailers.”

The new 20,000 square-foot retail space will be built on the south end of the complex next to Papa Razzi. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring and be ready for use in late 2012.

Secondary phases of the project will include the creation of several new restaurants and new traffic and pedestrian links to the Whole Foods Market section of the center.

Borders book store was a major tenant in the center before bankruptcy and its liquidation over the summer.


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