News & Event
Please join Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien, RIHousing Executive Director Barbara Fields, members of the community and representatives from WinnCompanies, OMNI Development and the Pawtucket Housing Authority as we mark the completion of the first phase and the commencement of the second phase of redevelopment at historic Prospect Heights, a 292-unit, 21-acre public housing community in Pawtucket, RI.
WinnCompanies, OMNI Development and the Pawtucket Housing Authority cordially invite you to be our special guest as we celebrate the preservation of Rhode Island’s first public housing project to undergo Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Conversion.
To RSVP, please contact WinnPR@winnco.com.
Posted: May 17, 2018 at 4:40 PM
Updated: May 18, 2018 at 11:21 AM
Gov. Gina Raimondo was among the officials at Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the $42-million renovation of the Prospect Heights Apartments at 560 Prospect St. in Pawtucket.
The complex was built by the Pawtucket Housing Authority between 1941 and 1942.
WinnCompanies, a multifamily property developer and manager, and Omni Development Corp., the largest minority not-for-profit housing developer in Rhode Island, officially kicked off the project to modernize the historic New Deal-era public housing community.
Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien, Pawtucket Housing Authority Executive Director Stephen Vadnais and Barbara Fields, executive director of Rhode Island Housing, were also on hand for the ceremony. The renovation will include 292 apartments spread across 35 existing two-story buildings. In addition, 20 new units of housing will be built at the 21-acre site.
Appeal to stop building rejected
Neighbors opposed to the five-story building planned at 1292 Westminster St. in Providence’s West Side have lost a bid to reverse the preliminary approval of the plan.
The city’s Zoning Board of Review on May 9 declined to reverse the City Plan Commission’s preliminary approval for the plan, which includes the construction of an 8,500-square-foot, five-story building with retail on the first floor and 36 one-bedroom apartments on the upper floors. The project is planned by developer Michael Lemoi.
$3.5M sale in Narragansett; Oakland hall sold
A house at 404 Ocean Rd. in Narragansett was sold May 9 for $3.5 million.
The house was sold by Michael C. and Janie V. Yag of Naples, Florida to Marcy Kaplan Glanz, trustee of the 404 Ocean Rd. Realty Trust. Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty said data from the Rhode Island Statewide Multiple Listing Service shows it was the highest transaction in Narragansett since 2016.
Additionally, the agency announced the May 8 sale of 1298 Victory Highway in Burrillville, the former Oakland Recreational Hall, for $507,000. The new owner is John C. Burnette, and the sellers are Tucker Houlihan and Christine Enos.
In both transactions, the sellers were represented by Benjamin Scungio, of Mott & Chace Sotheby’s.
The buyers for 404 Ocean Rd. and 1298 Victory Highway were represented by Marnee Grzebien of Bay Realty and Deborah Giannini of HomeSmart Professionals, respectively.
Saunderstown home brings $1.3M
A home and three acres in Saunderstown, the Browning Farm at 1510 Boston Neck Rd., North Kingstown, was sold May 14 for $1,325,000.
The seller, Seraphina Jessica Watts, was represented by Judy Chace, broker/co-owner, and Erin Marsh, sales associate, both of Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty. The buyers, Thomas A. DeNicola Jr. and Rebecca M. DeNicola, of South Kingstown, were represented by Anita Langer of Residential Properties Ltd.
On Twitter: @ChristineMDunn
Courtesy of Providence Journal
PAWTUCKET – WinnCompanies, a multi-family property developer and manager, and Omni Development Corporation, the largest minority not-for-profit housing developer in Rhode Island, last Tuesday formally kicked off $42 million in renovations to modernize Prospect Heights Apartments, a historic New Deal-era public housing community on Prospect Street.
Gov. Gina Raimondo, Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien, Pawtucket Housing Authority Executive Director Stephen Vadnais and Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing Barbara Fields were among the dignitaries who attended the groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the work, which will rehabilitate 292 apartments spread across 35 two-story buildings and also create 20 new units of housing at the 21-acre site.
“This redevelopment is creating a new future for the residents of this New Deal-era property,” said WinnDevelopment President and Managing Partner Larry Curtis.
“All Rhode Islanders deserve to live somewhere that’s safe and warm,” said Raimondo. “This redevelopment is a perfect example of what government and the private sector can achieve when we work together.”
Constructed in 1942, Prospect Heights qualified for federal historic tax credits after being placed on the National Register of Historic Places in December 2016.
Vadnais, updating The Breeze on a previous story regarding the concerns of 92-year-old Dorothy Remiesiewicz, noted that Remiesiewicz appeared to have all of her issues answered during the groundbreaking event. She will live in a two-bedroom end unit and get to keep her ceiling fans, among other concessions.
“I hope we can keep her happy for a while,” said Vadnais.
A joint venture between WinnDevelopment and Omni Development acquired a ground lease for the Prospect Heights property from the Pawtucket Housing Authority in June 2017. The transaction was coordinated under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program, which allows public housing agencies to leverage their assets to raise necessary funds to do rehabilitation and capital improvements.
Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp. provided tax-exempt bond financing for the construction and permanent loans, the Low Income Housing Tax Credits and separate bridge financing for the project. WNC served as the equity investor. Commerce Corp. provided tax credits from the state’s new Rebuild Rhode Island program. Additional funds were provided by the federal Home Loan Bank of Boston from the Affordable Housing Program, the Rhode Island Housing Trust Fund, and the R.I. Housing Resource Commission’s Building Homes Rhode Island Housing Bond Program. Housing Ministries of New England and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) provided predevelopment funds.
The city of Pawtucket supported the project through zoning and entitlement changes, as well as a tax stabilization agreement and Community Development Block Grant and HOME funds.
“This is a great day in our city that has been a long time in the making,” said Grebien.
“This is truly a significant event for residents of Prospect Heights,” said Vadnais. “Through this private-public partnership, we are preserving 292 units of affordable housing and producing an additional 20 affordable units within the City of Pawtucket. I applaud the efforts of our partners in working toward providing a quality product for the residents of historic Prospect Heights, and I applaud the residents for their patience during the transition in management and enduring the relocation process.”
Courtesy of The Valley Breeze
PAWTUCKET – In June, Dorothy Remiesiewicz will start her 63rd year as a tenant at Prospect Heights. At 92, she says she’s the oldest resident there, and quite possibly the most opinionated.
Remiesiewicz acknowledges that she’s been spoiled during her decades living in the housing complex she loves – every one of the eight or 10 executive directors here has had a good heart, she says – but she also doesn’t see a reason why things shouldn’t continue as they’ve been.
“I haven’t regretted one minute of living here,” she said, despite some people wondering originally why she was moving in.
For the first time, says Remiesiewicz, she’s considering leaving Prospect Heights at 560 Prospect St., though at this age, she says her options are limited.
“I’m concerned,” she said. “We’ve had numerous meetings, but they’ve never told us about what they’re going to do to us. They’re going to run it their way.”
The new owner of Prospect Heights is undertaking a massive reconstruction project on a facility that’s long been in need of renovations. The total construction budget for the job is $23.8 million, according to Steve Vadnais, executive director of the Pawtucket Housing Authority, including construction of 20 new units.
Under new owners, “everything’s changed” at Prospect Heights, said Remiesiewicz. She and others have been informed that their fences and canopies must come down, that there will be no more screen doors in the parlor, and that they will no longer have their reserved handicapped parking spots. Handicapped parking will be available to anyone with a sticker.
The Pawtucket Housing Authority announced last June that Prospect Heights had been sold to Prospect Redevelopment I Limited Partnership, a Rhode Island limited partnership between Omni Development Corp. of Providence and WinnDevelopment of Boston.
Phase 1 finalizing of financing for the sale kick-started the redevelopment of 101 units. With the transaction, WinnResidential agreed to manage the remaining 191 units (phase 2) on behalf of the Pawtucket Housing Authority until financing can be secured for the redevelopment of those units.
The partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Rhode Island Housing, and other investors will allow the Pawtucket Housing Authority to preserve the affordable housing units and make the first major rehabilitation of the property since the 1980s, said Mayor Donald Grebien last year.
Vadnais said at the time that it was “a great day for the residents of Prospect.”
Remiesiewicz and her son, 63-year-old Joseph, are residents of unit 320 at Prospect Heights, one of the units planned for rehab in phase 2.
Vadnais told The Breeze this week that he can see “some nuances between how we do housing and they do housing.” He conceded that some things will be different under private management, and that tenants such as Remiesiewicz won’t get everything they’re accustomed to. He said there are some “limitations to personalizing” housing accommodations, especially since a lot of money is being expended to do the renovations correctly. He added that everyone is willing to work with Remiesiewicz “on some personalization,” including her exterior decorations.
Remiesiewicz said life under the PHA has always been pleasant, as leaders have accommodated such requests as living on the end of a building – she’s always lived on the end – and living in a unit with a tree outside.
Remiesiewicz’s situation is a “hard one,” and everyone’s trying to be sensitive to her needs, said Vadnais.
“At the end of the day, we can’t meet everybody’s expectations,” he said.
At some point, Dottie and Joe Remiesiewicz will be relocated to another apartment, either temporarily or permanently, said Vadnais. Every existing tenant has the right to return to the project even if they’re over income thresholds, he said, but “most people probably won’t get back into their specific unit.”
Remiesiewicz said she’s concerned that at 92 years old she might be asked, as others have been, to move to one apartment only to be moved to another one. She said she’s looked into moving off premises for the first time in 63 years, but has found wait times for apartments to be four or five years long. At Galego Court, there are 27 people already on a waiting list, she said.
“I want to be able to leave here and be secure somewhere else at my age,” she said.
Prospect Heights converted from public housing to Section 8 housing in December, said Vadnais. There are still 95 units of public housing. The PHA will continue to own the land, while the new company manages the property, he added.
Remiesiewicz, who worked numerous jobs until turning 71, spent 34 years in 40-41 Prospect Heights and the past 28 years in unit 320. Her son worked at Benny’s in Smithfield for 19 years before it was shut down with the closure of the chain.
Vadnais said he’s sympathetic to Remiesiewicz’s concern about uncertainty surrounding moving out of her apartment, and about possible increases in rent, saying there are some questions that may never be answered to the resident’s satisfaction.
On rent, he said no one’s costs can go up more than 10 percent at any given time, and rents can’t exceed 30 percent of income. Most residents at Prospect will pay identical amounts under new ownership, he said. In some cases, where higher incomes come into play, rents might go up, he said, but he knows of no one who will see a significant increase.
“What her rent is today is not going to change once she gets to a new apartment,” he said.
The entire project is expected to be complete by December 2019, said Vadnais. There are many challenges to doing a rehabilitation of 292 units and keeping everyone on site during the work, he said.
“These projects are bears,” he said.
By Haley Hunt - May 15, 2018 4:00 pm
PAWTUCKET – Nearly a year after WinnCompanies and Omni Development Corp. were approved by the Pawtucket Housing Authority for a joint venture ground lease for Pawtucket’s Prospect Heights Apartments, renovations are officially underway.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien, Pawtucket Housing Authority Executive Director Stephen Vadnais, and Executive Director of the R.I. Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp. Barbara Fields recently attended a ground-breaking ceremony to kick-off the work.
“All Rhode Islanders deserve to live somewhere that’s safe and warm,” Raimondo said in a statement. “This redevelopment is a perfect example of what government and the private sector can achieve when we work together. This is a great day for Rhode Island, the City of Pawtucket, and more importantly, the people who will soon call these apartments home.”
The project, which is scheduled to finish in April 2020, will create 20 new units of housing and modernize 292 apartments across 35 two-story buildings. The complex is a historic New Deal-era public housing community built in 1942 and has been named to the National Register of Historic Places.
R.I. Housing, the Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and R.I. Commerce Corp. provided financial support for the renovations. Soft funds were also provided by the federal Home Loan Bank of Boston from the Affordable Housing Program, the Rhode Island Housing Trust Fund, and the Building Homes Rhode Island Program. Contributors to pre-development funds included Housing Ministries of New England and Local Initiatives Support Corp.
“This is truly a significant event for residents of Prospect Heights,” Executive Director Vadnais said. “I applaud the efforts of our partners in working toward providing a quality product for the residents of historic Prospect Heights, and I applaud the residents for their patience during the transition in management and enduring the relocation process.”
This renovation marks the first Rental Assistance Demonstration project in Rhode Island, and the first nationwide project listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Expanding and restoring housing is an essential part of our effort to grow economic opportunity in Rhode Island,” Commerce RI President Jesse Saglio said. “This development represents a significant step towards our goal of ensuring that Rhode Islanders at every income level have access to quality housing.”
Haley Hunt is a PBN contributing writer.
Courtesy of Providence Business News
Updated: May 15, 2018 05:34 PM EDT
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Several state officials gathered in Pawtucket Tuesday to break ground on the renovation project at the Prospect Heights Apartments.
Officials said the renovations will cost roughly $42 million. Gov. Gina Raimondo and Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien were among the people to launch the project, being implemented by WinnCompanies and Omni Development.
The project will rehabilitate 292 apartments in 35 two-story buildings. It will also create 20 new housing units.
"All Rhode Islanders deserve to live somewhere that's safe and warm," Raimondo said. "This redevelopment is a perfect example of what government and the private sector can achieve when we work together. This is a great day for Rhode Island, the city of Pawtucket and most importantly, the people who will soon call these apartments home."
Officials said Prospect Heights was constructed in 1942 and is considered one of the nation's public housing projects that qualify for the Federal Historic Tax Credits after being placed on the National Register of Historic Places in December 2016.
"This is a great day in our city that has been a long time in the making," Grebien said. "The renovation of Prospect Heights and preservation of affordable housing marks another milestone in the revitalization of our community. I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the governor and her leadership team, Rhode Island and Pawtucket Housing, and our private partners WinnCompanies and Omni Development Corporation for coming together to make this possible."
Officials said residents of the apartment complex will be temporarily relocated to vacant on-site units during the construction, which should be completed in April 2020.
Courtesy of WPRI 12
About the Conference
Latinos in Heritage Conservation, Rhode Island Latino Arts, and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission are proud to present Encuentro 2018. Spanning three days of programs in Providence and the Blackstone Valley, this groundbreaking event brings together the 3rd National Convening of Latinos in Heritage Conservation and the 33rd Annual Statewide Rhode Island Historic Preservation Conference.
For the first time, Latinos in Heritage Conservation is bringing a national conversation about Latino historic preservation to New England. Featuring guest speakers from across the country and opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with fellow practitioners and advocates for Latino historic preservation, this is a not to be missed opportunity. Rhode Island Latino Arts, RIHPHC, and local partners have planned an engaging program of tours and special events to round out the schedule.
We hope that you will join us for this landmark gathering that will bring together preservationists, scholars, students, design professionals, and community advocates for an unprecedented discussion of the value and future of heritage conservation in New England’s Latino communities and beyond.
$30 Thursday – Friday | $50 Saturday ($80 for Thursday – Saturday)
$15 Thursday – Friday | $25 Saturday for students with i.d. ($40 for Thursday – Saturday)
Courtesy of Encuentro 2018
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