Buyer emerges for West Valley Inn

WEST VALLEY INN in West Warwick closed last year. / COURTESY WEST VALLEY INN
WEST VALLEY INN in West Warwick closed last year. / COURTESY WEST VALLEY INN

Updated at 2:32 p.m.

WEST WARWICK – Nearly a year after the West Valley Inn closed, a buyer has stepped forward with plans to purchase the former banquet hall and surrounding site.

The property, contained in four lots, is in receivership but has been marketed for sale over the past year. It initially was listed for $1.5 million.

On June 15, the receiver, Richard Land, obtained an offer from Roy A. Lacroix Sr., of Cranston, to purchase the 12-acre site and associated buildings for $1.2 million, in an “as-is” condition. The sale request is expected to be considered on July 6 by the Kent County Superior Court, according to the purchase and sale agreement submitted June 23.

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Lacroix said on Thursday he intends to reopen the facility, and most likely have it operated through a tenant business. He and his family until 1996 operated a food industry business, Lacroix Food Services, a mobile catering company. Lacroix, who grew up in West Warwick, previously frequented the West Valley Inn and said he wanted to see the facility operating again.

“It would be a big plus for the state of Rhode Island and the Kent County area,” he said.

Several other prospective buyers had emerged over the past 10 months, but the deals all fell through. They included an initial offer by Frank DiBiase Jr., owner of the Spring House on Block Island and Providence Oyster Bar, who had sought to purchase the 12-acre site.

The property was placed in receivership in September 2016.

In December, the receiver sought authorization to sell one of the lots for $610,000 to SouthPointe Christian Church. But the West Warwick Zoning Board denied a parking variance request that would have accommodated parking for the church, according to court paperwork.

Mary MacDonald is a PBN staff writer. Email her at macdonald@pbn.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryF_MacDonald.