Mulligan’s Island Developer Seeks up to $46 Million in Damages from Cranston

Mulligan’s Island developer Coastal Partners LLC is suing the City of Cranston for up to $46 million in damages

The company filed a demand letter for damages with the city on Monday, claiming that former Mayor Allan Fung and current Mayor Ken Hopkins were “openly working to kill” the project to benefit political support. 

Costco

“The city’s denial of Coastal’s application has succeeded in driving Costco out of the city, leaving some other municipality to reap the benefits of enhanced tax revenue and hundreds of good jobs. Coastal is left with no alternative but to pursue its rights in the courts, to be made whole for the damages this shameful conduct has caused and will continue to cause,” Coastal Partners lawyer Robert Corrente told WPRI. 

Coastal Partners estimates that the Mulligan’s Island debacle resulted in damages totaling between $30 and $46 million, including the loss of a lease agreement with Costco which was valued at 20-years, $12 million. 

The City of Cranston has 40 days to respond to the letter. 

Mulligan’s Saga – A Recap 

July 19 , 2020

GolfNewsRI confirms that Mulligan’s Island is under agreement to be sold to Massachusetts-based Coastal Partners LLC. 

In an email to GolfNewsRI, Mulligan’s Island managing partner Michael Friedman said they do not have a comment on the situation, but is referring parties to Coastal Partners LLC. 

“We will continue to operate as we can during Covid for the remainder of this season,” said Friedman. 

July 29, 2020

Complete details of the proposed development of Mulligan’s Island were released. 

Coastal Partners proposal calls for the property to be renamed “Cranston Crossing” and for Costco be the center of the development. 

“The primary commercial element of the Cranston Crossing project is a new large-scale retail facility (wholesale club) propose on the central portion of the property. This portion of the redevelopment also includes a fueling station,” reads the proposal. 

The proposal continues, “Development to the north will consist of two undetermined commercial/retail/restaurant uses along the easter side of New London Avenue, as well as a fast food establishment with drive thru service on the southeast corner of the intersection of New London Ave and Howard ave.” 

August 11, 2020

Following a walk-through of the property, Cranston city Council President Michael Farina rejected the proposal to develop Mulligan’s Island. 

GolfNewsRI broadcasted the comments on Facebook LIVE

“Looking at this project realistically and seeing what it is, the grand scale of it is too much for this site,” Farina said. 

“I’m not against development, I think Mulligan’s is looking to sell, they are looking to close this operation. The idea that smaller businesses in the area are making money I don’t think means anything, the fact Mulligan’s owns it and is looking to sell, looking to develop. But I don’t think this development is right for this area,” said Farina to a loud round of applause. 

December 32020

Early December is when Friedman wrote a letter to the Cranston City Council urging them to accept the “Cranston Crossing” proposal. 

“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.

Friedman concludes, “We would like the City to take an affirmative position on the long-term benefit to the community by approving Cranston Crossing.” 

December 16, 2020

Just a few weeks after Friedman’s letter, the proposal to develop Mulligan’s Island was pulled by Coastal Partners LLC. 

According to a letter sent to Cranston City Council on Wednesday, the developer (through a lawyer) wrote “The applicant hereby withdraws the subject application.” 

Read the Letter HERE

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