Commission approves first I-195 land proposal

Lincoln, Phoenix property companies plan six-story, suite-style apartment near Med School

Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sister development companies Lincoln and Phoenix bought parcel 28 of the former I-195 land to build a six-story, suite-style apartment complex, with construction slated to begin this summer.

At an I-195 Redevelopment District meeting Monday night, the commission voted to approve a purchase sales agreement for a proposal to build a six-story suite-style apartment complex on parcel 28 of the LINK — land in the Jewelry District previously occupied by I-195.

The apartment complex, proposed by sister property companies Lincoln and Phoenix, is slated to be built just blocks away from Alpert Medical School and one block away from Johnson and Wales University buildings, according to the LINK website.

Purchase sales agreements are contracts usually used for finalizing sales transactions, especially those involving real estate and business assets.

“It’s the first one approved,” said Dyana Koelsch, president of DK Communications and media contact for the LINK, adding that the complex was “the only (proposal) that was up for approval” Monday night. She said the building will target students and is proposed to accommodate 500 residents, with the first floor of the building being set aside for retail and commercial space.

“We’re excited to have a national, highly reputable developer investing deeply here in Providence,” said Colin Kane, chairman of the commission. By approving the purchase sales agreement, the commission is allowing the developer to move forward with the proposal, though it will still need to work with the city before breaking ground on the project.

If everything proceeds as proposed, construction will begin this summer, with the goal of completing the project by 2017, Koelsch said.

Parcel 28 — one of the 21 available LINK parcels, three of which are parks — is in the heart of the Jewelry District and bound by Friendship Street, Richmond Street, Clifford Street and Chestnut Street. It is 54,540 square feet, which is the average size of a parcel, according to the LINK’s website. Not including parks, the smallest parcel is 2,345 square feet and the largest is 115,363 square feet.

Chestnut Street is part of a proposed streetcar route, a project that remains in the planning process while funding concerns are being addressed. Though Providence received a $13 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in September, that grant will only finance 11 percent of the project’s estimated $117.8 million cost, The Herald previously reported.

According to the Phoenix Property Company’s website, the Dallas-based group focuses mainly on commercial, student living and multi-family building projects, with sites in 14 states around the country and in the District of Columbia. This project will be its first in Rhode Island and New England, more broadly. Lincoln Property Company — the country’s third largest property manager — manages over 140,000 apartment units, across 31 states, with two units located in Rhode Island towns, Cumberland and Slatersville.

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