Major New Retail Center Planned for Tiverton, R.I.

Borders Books, Talbots, Filene's, and Eastern Mountain Sports are among proposed tenants as New England Development plans a major shopping center that could turn Tiverton into a retail destination, rivaling some Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts shopping hot spots.

There would be 450,000 square feet of retail, dining and "community space" on 72 acres off Souza Road, just north of the Rhode Island-to-Boston Route 24 corridor, under New England Development's top proposal. Based in Newton, Mass., New England Development has developed everything from two exclusive Nantucket inns -- the Wauwinet and the White Elephant -- to several shopping centers, to airport retail centers in New York's LaGuardia International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport.

But theirs is not the only shopping proposal, nor the largest. Another developer, New England Properties Holdings, plans 700,000 square feet of retail on 90 acres of Fish Road industrial park, near the police station and just south of Route 24. Their concept is to include at most three large stores, and some 25 smaller stores, said James Karam, president of First Bristol Corp. and one of the partners in the development.