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
After 50 Years, Preservation Group Graduates from Tenant to Owner at Colonial Schoolhouse15 Dec 2012, 6:15 pm
After leasing the Brick School House from the city of Providence for a half-century, the Providence Preservation Society is graduating from the historic building’s long-time tenant to its new owner.
The organization is acquiring the Brick School House with the help of a $341,500 grant from The Champlin Foundations. PPS intends to repurpose the building as its Center for Preservation Education.
Located at 24 Meeting Street, the historic building was built in 1769 and was part of Providence’s civic center during the colonial era. It is one of the city’s few surviving 18th-century buildings.
PPS has invested nearly $250,000 in capital improvements. Plans call for restoration of the building’s exterior and measures to stabilize the structure. Also on the agenda is a restoration of the School House’s roof, which will be funded with the assistance of a $14,400 matching grant from the 1772 Foundation. Consultants for the renovation include Ed Wojcik Architect Ltd, Peter Borgemeister, Architect, and the landscape architecture firm of Searle and Searle.
“Throughout 50 years of occupancy and stewardship, PPS has worked to retain the character of the historically significant Brick School House,” commented James Brayton Hall, the executive director of PPS.. “By receiving the funds to purchase the building from The Champlin Foundations, we can make this historic structure a safe, accessible, and available resource for the City of Providence.”
Photo credits: www.ppsri.org
Winstanley, Surrey Buy Rhode Island Mall for $38M; Makeover in Store17 Nov 2012, 5:25 pm
In a $38 million deal, a joint venture of Winstanley Enterprises L.L.C. of Concord, Mass. and New York-based Surrey Equities L.L.C. has acquired Rhode Island Mall in Warwick, the Providence Business News reported. Eastern Retail Properties represented the buyers of the 450,000 square-foot property, while Cushman & Wakefield Inc. represented the seller, GLL Real Estate Partners of Orlando, Fla.
In a bid to revive the 45-year-old mall, the new owners plan an interior and exterior renovation that will create larger store spaces in order to attract anchor tenants. The 225,000-square-foot enclosed portion of the center has been vacant since April 2011. Only three stand-alone anchor stores—Sears, Wal-Mart, and Kohls—are currently open.
Originally named Midland Mall, the property is New England’s oldest enclosed two-level retail center. “There is a rich history with this property, and we are very excited to breathe new life into the development by putting together a plan that will once again position the mall as a vibrant part of Warwick’s retail hub,” said Adam Winstanley, a principal of Winstanley Enterprises. The project is expected to bring about 225 construction jobs to Warwick and about 150 permanent and part-time jobs.
“We look forward to working with the business and local community as well as city officials to create new jobs as this project moves forward,” said Edward Silvera, president and principal of Surrey Equities.
Photo credits: FLICKR.COM USER/LACKINGFOCUS
Rhode Island Housing Wins 2 Awards in National Competition5 Nov 2012, 2:34 am
Rhode Island Housing has received the National Council of State Housing Agencies’ special achievement and communications awards.
NCSHA cited the state agency’s comprehensive approach to foreclosure prevention and its efforts to forge human and electronic links with more than 60 local and national lenders in its special achievement award. Housing finance agencies nationwide compete for NCSHA awards in 18 categories.
In the communications category, Rhode Island Housing was recognized for its Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island outreach efforts. Through newsletters, targeted automatic phone messages and coordination with members of the General Assembly, the agency has encouraged attendance of free informational meetings. As a result, homeowners at risk of losing their home due to a sudden financial hardship were the beneficiaries of effective federal foreclosure assistance.
“Our greatest reward is helping Rhode Island families find and keep safe, healthy homes they can afford and, in doing so, create strong vibrant communities,” said Richard Godfrey, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing. “It is an incredible honor to be recognized by our fellow HFAs and to be acknowledged by experts in our profession for creating some of the best housing programs in the country.”
Created by the General Assembly in 1973, Rhode Island Housing is a privately funded public-purpose corporation. The agency’s mission is to provide low-interest loans, grants, education and assistance.
Photo credits: www.destination360.com
Providence’s Waldorf Capital Buys M-F Asset in Fall River21 Oct 2012, 3:44 am
Tag Fall River Real Estate III LLC, a division of Providence-based Waldorf Capital Management LLC, has purchased a 49-unit apartment complex in Fall River, Mass. for $3.42 million, the Boston Business Journal reported.
NAI Hunnema’s investment sales team represented the seller, Clearview Investments, and procured the buyer. Tag Fall River Real Estate III LLC., the affiliate that acquired the property for Waldorf Capital, bought the property at a discount of about 30 percent from the property’s most recent sale price in 2007.
Located at 4000 North Main Street, Clearview Apartments is comprised of two three-level buildings containing 42 two-bedroom units and seven one-bedroom units. The apartments feature a balcony or ground-level patio overlooking the Tauton River.
Photo credits: rent.com
Washington Trust Provides $4.8M Financing for Historic Property24 Sep 2012, 6:17 pm
The Washington Trust’s commercial real estate group recently provided $4.8 million in commercial mortgage financing to Emanon Associations L.P. The funds will be used to refinance, capitalize and improve The Gardner Building in Providence.
Located at 40 Fountain St., the eight-story, 75,000-square-foot office property has been owned by Emanon Associations for more than 20 years.
“The Gardner Building is located in an area of Providence, R.I., that’s currently being revitalized, which is a nice story for our capital city,” said Joseph MarcAurele, Washington Trust’s chairman, president & CEO. “It historically has had a strong and mixed tenant base, including private, nonprofit and public sector tenants, which bodes well for the success of the project.”
Former home to the state’s Treasury offices, the building dates back to 1916. It originally housed the R.L. Greene Paper Co. and was named after its president, Nathan Gardner.
In other news, the Rumford Center in East Providence has received the 2012 Project of the Year Award from the Northeastern Economic Developers Association.
The mill complex was built in 1856 for Rumford Chemical Works Co. It produced baking powder and shipped it across the nation and around the world until the company closed in1968. In 2006, the remaining nine factory buildings were purchased by developers Peregrine Group and Kirkbrae Properties, which planned to convert the 8.5 acre historic property into residential, office and retail space.
Requiring an investment of $40 million, the 200,000-square-foot Rumford Center now features 112 apartment units, 60,000 square feet of office space, a restaurant and numerous retail tenants. It employs 120 people.
“The Rumford Center project has had an indelible positive impact on the community and has already become an important focal point for historic preservation and urban/suburban revitalization in East Providence,” said James Moran, principal & economic planner for the city of East Providence, in a statement.
Photo credits: www.businesswire.com
URI Debuts $75M Research Center at College of Pharmacy7 Sep 2012, 5:17 pm
The University of Rhode Island has formally unveiled a $75 million research center for its College of Pharmacy that will enable expansion of its graduate and undergraduate programs. At five stories and 144,000 square feet, the facility can accommodate 820 students and is the largest academic building on the South Kingstown campus.
Financing was provided primarily by $65 million in general obligation bonds approved by voters in 2006. Private donations and university funds made up the remaining $10 million.
“When we talk about reinvigorating Rhode Island’s economy and its educational institutions, we can look proudly to the University of Rhode Island,” Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee said during an opening ceremony. “Rhode Islanders should be proud of their critical role in maintaining URI’s College of Pharmacy as an international leader in teaching, research and innovation. It is no exaggeration to say that the cutting edge pharmaceutical research conducted in this facility will benefit the health of Rhode Islanders and global citizens for decades to come.”
A candidate for a LEED Gold rating, the new building will use about 20 percent less energy than a conventional building of its size. Annual utility cost savings are estimated at close to $160,000.
The new research center will also feature a medicinal garden and a $6 million current Good Manufacturing Process facility that is scheduled to open this fall. The addition will serve as a training center for students, workers and drug manufacturing inspectors from the Food and Drug Administration.
Payette, a Boston-based architectural firm, designed the facility, which was built by general contractor Suffolk Construction Co., also of Boston. In all, the project generated 380 jobs.
Photo credits: www.uri.edu
Bronhard Buys East Side M-F Portfolio; Arcade to Reopen26 Aug 2012, 6:35 pm
Walter L. Bronhard Real Estate has purchased seven multi-family buildings located on the East Side of Providence for approximately $5.9 million. According to the Providence Journal, the sellers are the Plushner Family Limited Partnership and 63 Realty Corp.
The Providence Business News reports that the acquisition includes the four-story, mixed-use George Earle Building on Benefit St. (pictured above); the Golden Ball Inn apartment building at 19 South Court, which dates from about 1785; the 1867 John Steere House at 122 Benefit St.; a three-story apartment building at 208 Benefit St.; an eight-unit building at 26 Pitman St.; the 1839 Charles Shaw House at 134 Benefit St.; and the nine-unit building 189 Williams St.
Louis Mendonca, a property manager for Bronhard Real Estate, told the newspaper that a lot next to the Earle Building is buildable and that the company would consider developing a duplex there, as market demand arises.
The properties were part of a portfolio that had been on the market for several years. Julie Longtin of ReMAX Cityside represented the seller in the transaction and Armistead Covington, an agent for ReMAX Cityside, represented the buyer.
In other news, 14 small retail shops and four restaurants are scheduled to open by the end of September at the Arcade building in Providence, the nation’s oldest indoor mall. The 184-year-old Arcade, which has been closed since 2008, is undergoing a $7 million renovation.
Owner Evan Granoff, of 130 Westminster Street Associates L.L.C., told the Providence Journal that the retailers will occupy the first floor of the Westminster Street building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The top two floors are being converted into 48 residential micro-lofts of up to 450 square feet in size, a step that will help make the property self-sustaining.
Photo credits: www.julielongtin.com
Bristol Harbor Flood Control Project Breaks Ground10 Aug 2012, 3:55 pm
Federal and local officials have broken ground on a critical $4 million flood-control project in the southern end of Bristol Harbor. The Tanyard Brook project will replace the existing pipe and stone-lined channel from Garfield Street to the outfall at Walker’s Cove with a new concrete box culvert.
The project is financed through $2.9 million of federal money from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and a $1.1 million community development block grant. Northern Construction Service of Weymouth, Mass. will perform the construction work, with BETA Engineering overseeing the project. Construction is estimated to take 15 months.
“This is a smart investment in keeping the entire town safe and encouraging economic growth and development. We saw again in 2010 there was a real need to address this situation,” U.S. Senator Jack Reed commented in a statement. To date, the federal government has committed approximately $200 million to help Rhode Island’s recovery from historic floods in March 2010.
In other news, Mansfield-based medical technology company Covidien Ltd. announced the opening of the China Technology Center, a $45 million research and development project in Shanghai. The 100,000-square-foot facility includes 17 laboratories and is expected to employ more than 300 people.
China Technology Center will focus on the design of tailored devices and on the discovery of breakthrough platforms in medical technology. Coviden’s other operations in China include 10 commercial offices, a manufacturing center and training facilities for healthcare professionals.
“This fusion of expertise among healthcare professionals, students, scientists and engineers will be further reinforced by the cutting-edge capabilities of our new R&D facility, bridging clinical knowledge, market understanding and technical innovation,” said Dong Wu, Coviden’s vice president for China research and development.
Photo credits: www.bristolri.us