Mulligan’s Island Owner Calls on City to Accept “Cranston Crossing” Proposal
Mulligan’s Island owner Michel Friedman is calling for the City of Cranston, and its residents, to accept the proposal to develop the property into “Cranston Crossing.”
Friedman said so in a letter to the Cranston City Council earlier this week.
“Please accept this letter as our written testimony in support of the proposed Cranston Crossing project at Mulligan’s Island. As owners of Mulligan’s for over 20-years, we are uniquely qualified to reveal the true nature of this site, its potential, and the likely outcomes for the City of Cranston,” writes Friedman.
Later in the letter, he adds, “Mulligan’s Island will not be in Cranston forever and presented before you is the best laid plan in writing the next chapter in the story of this property.”
Friedman concludes, “We would like the City to take an affirmative position on the long-term benefit to the community by approving Cranston Crossing.”
Coastal Properties LL, the Massachusetts-based development company, had their first meeting on rezoning in front of the Cranston City Council this past Tuesday.
Another meeting is scheduled for December 10.
As GolfNewsRI reported back in August, City Council President Michael Farina rejected the proposal, saying that “it was too much for this site.”
Recent Struggles of Mulligan’s Island
According to Friedman’s letter, changes to the economy, the industry and the global climate has caused Mulligan’s to become a tough business to run over the last several years.
“Running a seasonal business has become very difficult due to rising costs, lower disposable incomes, and the changing global climate. In just the last few years our payroll costs (our single largest expense) soared asthe minimum wage rose over 40% along with increases to the costs of insurance, property taxes, chemicals, and utilities. Similarly, families in our area are living on thinner margins and have less money to spend on recreation,” said Friedman.
He adds, “After raising our prices to meet the costs, our guests can now make fewer trips to Mulligan’s Island and we are making less on each visit. And with rising summer temperatures we have experienced far fewer days available for miniature golf and batting cages in recent years.”
As has been speculated, one of the reasons that Mulligan’s is looking to sell is due to Topgolf which is coming to Cranston.
“Last year, the City Council approved a zone change to a 4.8-acre parcel on an already congested Sakonnosset Crossroad to allow for commercial recreation uses including a 3-story, 67,000 square foot Topgolf with a large parking facility. This multi-tiered driving range will have 176-foot high poles which can be seen from miles away. The lights throughout the facility will be intense and the noise and traffic will likely burden the residents of the neighborhood in perpetuity. The impact to our already challenged business will likely be cataclysmic when Topgolf opens,” writes Friedman.
As Friedman mentions, Topgolf will be located just miles from Mulligan’s Island.