- More development is planned for the former Citizens Bank campus
- The facility can open in late summer or early autumn at the earliest
CRANSTON – Rising high above Route 37 like sentinels, white poles mark the boundaries of the new Topgolf complex on Sockanosset Road, a golf entertainment center replacing the expansive parking lot on the former Citizens Bank campus.
These mysterious white bars will hold up a mesh net to prevent golf balls from escaping Top golf range where they could start flying already in late summer.
The site is owned by Carpionato groupwhich will lease the facility to Topgolf.
Construction on the site has been underway since July 2022. What was once tarmac has been torn up and will be replaced with fake grass, while a hill behind the back of the facility has been leveled to be converted into a 470-space car park . Carpionato group Chairman Kelly Coates said.
The mound of earth, from the former hill, is visible from Route 37, but will soon be removed.
What is Topgolf?
Topgolf bills itself as a “sports entertainment complex” with a “high-tech golf game.”
While the large net that surrounds the facility prevents golf balls from flying out, the main idea of Topgolf is to earn points by hitting targets. Each ball has one microchip that allows it to be tracked through his escape and into the goal, each worth a certain number of points.
While some might try to treat the complex as a driving range cut off by nets, the goals make the game interesting for both kids and adults, Coates said.
“It’s a child’s dream,” he said.
The complex will have a total of 111 pitches across its three levels.
The facility will serve food and have two bars.
Coates said he expects the facility to generate 150 good-paying full-time jobs and 300 part-time jobs, in addition to an estimated $1 million in property taxes and sales tax to the city.
When does Topgolf in Cranston open?
Construction on the Topgolf site is expected to be complete in late August and open between later summer and early fall, Coates said.
Originally, the project was supposed to begin years earlier, but when the pandemic began, Topgolf locations were part of lockdown orders and the project was put on hold, Coates said. Construction started in July 2022.
What happens after Topgolf is finished?
When the Topgolf project is completed, work begins on the next phase of the project. Most of the one-story building that used to house Citizens Bank will be razed. The whole site is just under 25 hectares.
The remaining two-story building will be renovated and converted into “experiential retail.” The plans approved by Cranston call for a new building, with retail and a drive-in restaurant, near the front of the site.
Announcements about retailers are coming, Coates said
“Experiential” retail is stores that offer an experience rather than just selling products, such as Cabela’s/Bass Pro Shops or REI, which is currently located in the Chapel View shopping center up the street. Other examples include Apple stores.
Cranston Topgolf is expected to be a regional draw
The Topgolf facility is expected to bring customers to Cranston from surrounding states. The nearest Topgolf facility, in Canton, Massachusetts, is expected to open by the end of this year.
The Cranston Topgolf facility was supposed to bring in people from Massachusetts and Connecticut. Coates said the hope is that the out-of-area and out-of-state visitors will patronize the facility as well as the surrounding shopping and dining options at nearby Garden City Center and Chapel view complexes.
The facility is directly off Route 37, which connects Interstates 95 and 295, meaning it provides easy access for visitors outside of Cranston and out of state, Coates said.
How much does Topgolf cost?
By comparison, a single lane rental at the area’s bowling alleys costs up to 50 dollars an hour.
How much will the project cost?
The Topgolf construction is expected to cost $40 million.
Coates said the project did not receive government aid, subsidies or tax breaks.
Another major sports complex, the Tidewater Landing football stadium in Providence, estimated to cost $124 million, is receiving $60 million in public incentives, including $36 million in public loans, $14 million in state tax credits and $10 million from Pawtucket.
What is the history of the Topgolf location?
Citizens Bank announced in 2016 that it would leave its campus in Cranston and build a new one on 108 acres in Johnston. The lease expired in 2018.
During the pandemic, the building was used as a COVID-19 field hospital.
When Citizens Bank announced its intentions to vacate the premises, the Carpionato Group went to the city to ask for adaptive zoning changes for the site to allow them to be taller.
December 2019:Topgolf complex nears final OKs from Cranston
The complex received final approval in December 2019.
Thanks to our subscribers who help make this coverage possible. If you are not a subscriber, please consider supporting high-quality local journalism with one Providence Journal subscription. Here are our latest offers.