Greater City Providence

City announces transfer of ownership, redevelopment of the ‘Narrow Building’


I almost made this a What Cheer for 2013, but it all didn’t quite come together before the end of the year. If the renovations go forward as planned, expect to see a What Cheer for this project in 2014.

From the City:

Providence Transfers Ownership of Historic Arnold Building for Redevelopment

Top 5 Priority of Mayor Taveras’ Economic Development Action Plan; Mayor applauds action to redevelop key downtown property.

The Providence Redevelopment Agency (PRA) has transferred ownership of the historic and vacant George C. Arnold Building at 94-100 Washington Street and the City is providing $220,000 in federal block grant funding to help jumpstart the building’s redevelopment.

Mayor Angel Taveras praised the transfer of the building to a public-private entity for redevelopment. Removing barriers to redevelopment is a top goal of Mayor Taveras’ 20-point economic development action plan, Putting Providence Back to Work.

“This is a new beginning for downtown Providence’s historic Arnold Building,” Mayor Taveras said. “The collaboration of the PRA, Providence Revolving Fund, Providence Historic District Commission and the owners demonstrates what we can accomplish when we work together to revitalize historic buildings and grow our economy.”

The project is to be developed by 100 Washington Street LLC. Developers Dave Stem and Lori Quinn and the Providence Revolving Fund are partners in the project. The developers plan to restore the historic structure and construct three residential apartments and two ground-floor commercial spaces, eliminating a long-standing blight in the heart of the city’s business district.

The narrow, three-story Arnold Building has been vacant and increasingly in disrepair since a fire in 2009. The PRA took possession of the building by eminent domain this summer and reached a settlement agreement with its owners.

“The renovation of the George C. Arnold Building at 100 Washington Street is going to have a tremendous impact on the continued revitalization of downtown. This 13-foot deep building is a critical component of the streetscape, providing a liner between parking lots on Mathewson Street and the vast Providence Journal parking across Washington Street. The Providence Revolving Fund is pleased to participate in the project as a nonprofit partner and lender to this difficult project. The City has been instrumental by securing the building and providing HOME funds for two affordable apartments in the upper floors,” Providence Revolving Fund Executive Director Clark Schoettle said.

“We are excited to be part of the revitalization of Downtown Providence, and look forward to being stewards of this unique property for years to come,” Stem said.

Artful deflection from the Alexander F. Adie House demolition?

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


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