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U. plans to purchase Thayer St. property

Fairview Inc., a University subsidiary, is planning to purchase the 271 Thayer St. property that currently houses City Sports, said Mark Nickel, senior editor and writer at the Office of Public Affairs and University Relations. While the University does not pay property taxes on any building used for educational purposes, Fairview will pay taxes on the building so long as it is not used for such purposes.
The University has not yet released plans for the property, Nickel said.
Brown uses Fairview to control for-profit entities until it wants to buy them, said Will Touret, former president of the College Hill Neighborhood Association. The University also owns the Brook Street strip mall that includes Bagel Gourmet and the Providence Police station and can arrange for Fairview to sell its properties as needed, opening up future real estate options.
Should the University acquire the property from Fairview, the city would cease to receive revenue for the property.
"I can only assume that Brown is looking to control that block in the long term," Touret said.
Real estate tycoon Ed Bishop '54 P'86 P'91, who owns many Thayer Street properties, said the purchase will not have a big effect on the College Hill neighborhood.
"(City Sports) has been struggling, there's not a lot of parking on Thayer Street and it's not a big-time sports store," he said, but the store should survive through the end of its lease, which ends in three years.


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