Gaia Pays $55M for 2 East Providence M-F Complexes6 May 2013, 2:58 pm
Gaia Real Estate has purchased two East Providence multi-family communities and 20 acres of undeveloped land for $55 million or $115,000 per unit, the Providence Business News reports. CBRE/New England, a joint venture of CBRE Group Inc. and Whittier Partners Group, represented the buyer in the transaction and procured financing.
Located in the Riverside neighborhood, the two properties, Winchester Park and Winchester Wood, offer 478 units distributed among 79 two- and three-story townhouse buildings. Winchester Park was built between 1971 and 1974 and renovated in 2000. It encompasses 416 units and 63 buildings. Winchester Wood was completed in 1985 and comprises 62 units and 16 two-story buildings.
“We believe in the Providence apartment submarket and intend to continue to embark on a substantial value-added program for properties,” said Gaia managing partners Danny Fishman and Amir Yerushalmi in a statement.
Amenities include a renovated clubhouse, a fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool with a sun deck, tennis courts, a private landscaped courtyard, 694 parking spaces, on-site management and 24-hour emergency maintenance.
Gaia, which will also manage the properties, plans to upgrade common areas and renovate unit interiors. The New York-based company owns $1.15 billion in assets nationwide, including 13,000 multi-family units.
Providence Station on Track for $5.7M Renovation21 Apr 2013, 6:57 pm
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation plans to begin construction next year on a $5.7 million makeover of Providence Station. Gov. Lincoln Chafee and other officials unveiled details of the project April 15 during a ceremony at the facility.
The Federal Transit Administration, Federal Highway Administration and the state will provide funding for the renovation. Plans call for sprucing up the 27-year-old station’s physical appearance, reconstructing pedestrian and vehicular access and adding bicycle parking facilities. Engineers will inspect the south side plaza deck and identify any necessary repairs. RIDOT will replace the landscape planter structures and add improved signage to direct users to the Station.
“These upgrades and improvements will help us make the experience of traveling to Providence via rail more convenient, more pleasant, and more reflective of our outstanding capital city,” Chafee said. “I am strongly supportive of strategic investments that strengthen our infrastructure – this is certainly one such project, and I am grateful for the State-Federal partnership that made it possible.”
Providence Station was among the first projects to be built as part of the Capital Center redevelopment. Serving more than 1 million Amtrak and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority passengers annually, the station ranks 16th among Amtrak’s 500 stations.
”In its 27-year history, the Providence Station has become a major hub for trains, buses, vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. It’s starting to show its wear and tear,”said RIDOT Director Michael Lewis. “It’s critical that we maintain and improve this facility and position it for the future as a major rail stop on the Northeast Corridor.”
Photo credits: Loodog via Wikimedia Commons
High Rock Seeks Tax Credits for “Superman Building’s” M-F Makeover8 Apr 2013, 10:46 pm
High Rock Development of Newton, Mass. is planning to repurpose the 26-story Industrial Trust Tower in downtown Providence from office to residential rental space. According to the Associated Press, the owner of the 350,000-square-foot property intends to build up to 290 apartments on the upper floors, as well as ground-floor retail and restaurant space.
Bill Fischer, a spokesman for High Rock, told AP that the company is seeking historic tax credits to reposition the 85-year-old Art Deco landmark, which is Rhode Island’s tallest office building.
“Downtown Providence is in real need for residential rental space. It’s not in dire or desperate need for office space,” he said. “When you start to talk about the future of Providence and what it’s going to look like in five to 10 years … it makes perfect sense.”
High Rock is awaiting the results of an economic impact study it commissioned to determine the best re-use of the property. The company hopes to come up with a clear redevelopment plan in three or four weeks.
Also known as the Superman building, the property at 111 Westminster St. opened in 1928. Its only tenant, Bank of America, completed its move out of the building last month.
Photo credits: Julie Kertesz via Wikimedia Commons
Omni, WinnDevelopment Wrap $21M West End M-F Rehab23 Mar 2013, 3:22 pm
A $21 million makeover has transformed a series of dilapidated buildings in Providence’s West End into 83 units of energy-efficient affordable housing. A year of construction was capped off March 11 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Gov. Lincoln Chafee, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and other federal, state and local officials.
To create the new rental properties, collectively named Phoenix Apartments, a joint venture of Omni Development Corp. and WinnDevelopment rehabilitated or rebuilt 22 abandoned and foreclosed multi-family buildings on Althea, Waverly, Bellevue, Hanover, Cranston and Waldo streets. The developers demolished seven buildings and replaced them with nine new buildings and three parking sites.
Another 17 buildings were gutted and rehabilitated; seven of those properties were rebuilt either with fewer units or fewer bedrooms in order to reduce density. Also included is 3,148 square feet of space for property management offices, a central laundry facility and a community meeting room.
A variety of public and private sources provided funding, including Rhode Island Housing, HOME, LeadSafe Homes Program, Neighborhood Stabilization Program and the 2006 voter-supported housing bond, Building Homes Rhode Island, Bank of American Merrill Lynch and Housing Credits
“Preserving 83 units of affordable housing meets a critical need in our capital city,” said Joseph Caffey, president of Omni Development Corp., and managing partner of Phoenix Apartments, L.P. “We trust that our Phoenix residents will benefit for many years from these new HUD Section 8 apartments.”
Rhode Island Housing acquired the properties from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2010 and selected the Omni/WinnDevelopment team to redevelop them. As a condition of the plan’s approval by HUD, the developers maintained 83 apartments with the identical bedroom count identified in the Section 8 contract. The Section 8 rental assistance program allows each household to pay 30 percent of its income for rent
“These new affordable rental homes are a perfect example of turning a liability into an asset,” Governor Chafee said. “These formerly abandoned and foreclosed buildings – which previously were a risk to the community in terms of fire or vandalism – will now provide safe and affordable housing to Rhode Islanders in need.”
Photo: Rhode Island Housing
Washington Trust Finances Historic Downtown Office Building, Parking Facilities11 Mar 2013, 5:34 pm
by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor
Washington Trust’s commercial real estate group has provided mortgage financing for One Financial Center Plaza, an historic 128,000-square-foot office building at 10 Weybosset Street in Downtown Providence.
Completed in 1896, One Financial Center Plaza was the city’s first fireproof steel-framed high-rise building. It was a multi-tenant office and retail property until its acquisition by Amica Insurance Co. in the 1950s.
The property returned to multi-tenant status when it was acquired by its current owner, One Financial Center Plaza L.L.C., in the 1990s.
“This is an exceptional property— not only is it well positioned in Providence’s Financial District, but it is has good quality interior finishes and has the ability to offer parking onsite or in nearby owned lots,” said Joseph J. MarcAurele, chairman and CEO of Washington Trust.
In another recent Downtown Providence transaction, Washington Trust’s commercial real estate group provided a $6.2 million loan to Union Station Parking L.L.C., an entity controlled by the Marsella family, on a 160-space parking lot adjacent to Union Station Garage. Both facilities are owned by the Marsella family. The financing will assist the Marsella family in acquiring sole ownership of parking operations at Union Station Plaza.
The 1.17-acre surface lot is owned by Ron Marsella, who has completed several redevelopment projects in Downtown Providence, most notably the Capital Center.
Photo credits: Loodog via Wikimedia Commons
Court Approves Sale of 82 Acres at Rocky Point for State Park22 Feb 2013, 11:34 pm
by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor
The state of Rhode Island has received the U.S. District Court’s approval to purchase 82 acres of the historic Rocky Point property in Warwick for $9.65 million. According to the state Department of Environmental Management, the Court’s decision will allow the development of a state park 10 miles from Downtown Providence.
The transaction is expected to close in about one month. The acquisition will be funded through the $10 million Open Space bond approved by Rhode Island voters in 2010.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, acting as receiver for Moneta Capital, is the current owner of the property. “The Court’s decision today brings the State of Rhode Island significantly closer to successfully acquiring and preserving this iconic property,” noted Governor Lincoln Chafee.
Once the state acquires the land, DEM will develop a work plan and secure financing for the reconversion of the property into a public park.
Dating back the late 1840s, Rocky Point Park was a popular amusement park on the Narragansett Bay side of Warwick. The approximately 120-acre property closed in 1995 and its owners filed for bankruptcy the following year.
In 2007, with state and federal support, the City of Warwick acquired a 41-acre waterfront parcel of the Rocky Point land. That redeveloped property is now open for public use.
Developers Weigh Options for “Superman Building” Makeover10 Feb 2013, 7:44 pm
by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor
High Rock Westminster L.L.C., the owner of the 26-story Industrial Trust Tower in downtown Providence, has hired Cornish Associates to study options for re-use and redevelop the property. The Providence Business News reports that Cornish has commissioned a study to determine whether converting the city’s tallest building to residential use is physically and financially feasible.
Cornish president and CEO Arnold Chace told the Business News that he leans toward repurposing Industrial Trust Tower as a primarily residential property with 200 to 300 units. Cornish’s feasibility study is expected next month, and a final development plan could be in place this spring or summer.
David Sweetser, founder of High Rock Development L.L.C, told the newspaper that he would consider a variety of possible uses for the landmark at 111 Westminster St. “There has been a need for housing in Providence for some time, and I think this would go a long way toward satisfying that,” Sweetser explained. “Clearly there seems to be a pulse there, but I don’t know yet how viable it is. There could be other uses and a market for offices, retail and student housing.”
Completed in 1928, the Industrial Trust Tower is also known as “The Superman Building” for its resemblance to the fictional headquarters of the “Daily Planet” newspaper in the 1950s television series. High Rock Westminster L.L.C., an entity controlled by Sweetser, paid $33 million for the property five years ago. The building’s only tenant, Bank of America, will move out completely by March.
Omni Hotels Wraps Deal for 564-Key Downtown Westin; Rebrands as Omni Providence26 Jan 2013, 8:11 pm
Omni Hotels & Resorts has completed the acquisition of The Westin Hotel in Downtown Providence from The Procaccianti Group. Announced in October, the sale closed late last year for a price reported by CoStar Group as $170 million.
Rebranded the Omni Providence Hotel, the 564-key property will become part of Omni’s “Convention Collection” of hotels. Currently, that portfolio includes the Omni Nashville Hotel, set to open in 2013; the Omni Dallas Hotel; the Omni Fort Worth Hotel; the Omni San Diego Hotel; the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta; and the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.
“We are pleased to add this premier property to our Convention Collection hotel portfolio and enhance our offerings along the Eastern seaboard,” said Mike Deitemeyer, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts. “We look forward to working with the city and CVB, and serving as a leader in the marketplace for years to come.”
The 328-foot-tall Omni Providence is the city’s fourth-tallest building. Completed in 1993, it is connected to the Rhode Island Convention Center and to the new Providence Place Mall. Guest amenities include 18 meeting rooms totaling 22,877 square feet of space, three restaurants, complimentary electric vehicle charging stations, a fitness center, a heated indoor swimming pool and a full-service spa.
Omni Hotels Management Corp. is managing the hotel, while Josh Heidenreich has been appointed general manager. The property is scheduled to undergo a light renovation later this year.
Photo credits: Omni Hotels
Inland Diversified Pays $29.8M for Hasbro Building in Downtown Providence11 Jan 2013, 4:42 pm
In a $29.8 million deal, Chicago-based Inland Diversified Real Estate Trust Inc. has acquired the Hasbro Building in downtown Providence from Boston-based Berkeley Investments Inc., the Providence Journal reports. Alden Anderson and Bill Moylan of CBRE-New England arranged the transaction.
Located at 15 LaSalle Square, the 135,000-square-foot property is fully occupied by Pawtucket-based toymaker Hasbro Inc., which employs approximately 350 workers at the facility. About a year ago, Hasbro signed a 12-year lease for the space. Joseph Fallon and Michael Dalton of Cassidy Turley FHO represented the tenant in that transaction, while Berkeley was represented by Alden Anderson of CB Richard Ellis – New England.
In residential transaction news, Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty said that two seaside properties in Westport and Jamestown commanded a combined $16.2 million.
According to the Providence Business News, the 50-acre Truesdale Farm in Westport that stretches 10 acres in Little Compton sold for $9 million on Dec. 28. The property features 1,000 feet of beachfront, a barn and a four-bedroom 1939 farmhouse. It was the highest recorded sale in Westport and Little Compton in 2012. Gustave White broker/owner Pal Leys and broker Chandler Lyell marketed the property, while Patti Salem from Barrett and Company in Lincoln, Mass. represented the buyer.
In Jamestown’s number-one residential sale for 2012, the 6.2-acre Cedar Point estate was acquired for $7.2 million on Dec. 27. Leys marketed the estate, while Gustave White agents Michelle Kirby and Kate Greenman represented the buyer.
Photo credit: www.berkeleyinvestments.com
Procaccianti Group Buys Historic Renaissance Providence Hotel31 Dec 2012, 6:33 pm
The Procaccianti Group, a Cranston-based hotelier and development company, has acquired the Renaissance Providence Hotel from Sage Hospitality of Denver, Providence Business News, reported. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Located Downtown near the Rhode Island State House and Providence Place mall, the 237,000-square-foot, four-star hotel features 264 guest rooms and eight suites. The property opened in June 2007 in the city’s former Masonic Temple, a restored Greek Revival building dating from the 1920s. Amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, 10,000 square feet of function space and the Temple Downtown Restaurant, a ground-floor venue which will reopen under a new name in the near future.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to apply TPG’s opportunistic approach to hotel investments in our company’s home town,” commented Rob Leven, the Procaccianti Group’s chief investment officer.
Over the past 18 months, TPG has expanded its portfolio with the completion of nearly a dozen hotel agreements across the country. According to the Providence Business News, the group has also signed agreements to manage the Hilton San Antonio Airport Hotel and the Hilton Kansas City Airport Hotel. Additional deals are pending in Boston and Chicago.
In residential news, the historic six-acre-plus Hopedene waterfront estate on Newport’s Cliff Walk commanded $16 million. According to Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty, which brokered the transaction, the price represents the highest of the year for a residential property in Rhode Island and the second highest ever.
Built between 1899 and 1902, the property includes a main house, expansive balustrade-bordered terraces, a large carriage house with guest quarters, an ocean-facing pool and spa, tennis court, gated service entrance, and a heliport approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Sales associate David Huberman represented the sellers, Craig and Michelle Millard, while broker/owner Paul Leys represented the buyer, Hopedene, LLC.
“This transaction certainly highlights what has been a tremendous year for high-end real estate in Rhode Island. The state has never seen a year in which so many properties of this caliber have sold, especially one in such pristine condition as ‘Hopedene,’” Leys remarked.
Photo credits: www.gogobot.com/providence-ri