A little bit more of the Alex and Ani gold dust is falling on East Greenwich, with the recent rental of warehouse space just off of Main Street. The company already owns a very busy jewelry store at 232 Main St.
The warehouse building, at 461 Main St., is owned by Allen Gammons. Alex and Ani is renting out space at the rear of the building across from Crestar on Liberty Street.
According to Alex and Ani CEO Giovanni Feroce, the space is being used as a distribution center for such companies as Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, and The Paper Store.
"We're fortunate in that Allen Gammons had a facility we could use for this holiday season," Feroce said Tuesday. "It's a short-term plan but I could envision it as a long-term plan."
Feroce said security at the warehouse was an important component, especially after the theft earlier this fall of more than $3,000 in Alex and Ani bracelets from a manufacturer in Woonsocket by employees of the manufacturer.
Feroce said security cameras and a new alarm system had been installed in the warehouse, which most recently was home to Battleground training gym.
"Coming off the unfortunate thefts of two months ago, we are extra vigilant," he said.
According to building official Wayne Pimental, Alex and Ani applied for an alarm permit. He said no other sort of permitting is required since the building was already zoned warehouse.
Pimental said he does plan to meet with Gammons to discuss the parking situation. For decades there has been no delineation between the 461 Main back parking lot and Union and Liberty streets. When Ocean State Theatre Co. was negotiating to move into the space last year, they had plans to completely reconstruct the parking lot area, adding curbing.
With the arrival of Alex and Ani, the parking lot has been striped but Pimental said the lot did not conform with town standards, in particular the lack of distance between the car spaces and the street.
“They can’t have parking that goes right up to the street. Especially with plowing operations – it’s never going to work. We’ll be plowing the cars,” he said. “There are parking lot setbacks based on the property line.”
There is no property survey for 461 Main St. on file with the town. Pimental said Gammons would need to have one done.
Feroce said the warehouse operations were employing about 35 people right now. That could double if plans work out to make the warehouse an "e-commerce fulfillment center." He said web sales have been steadily increasing.