ProJo: Developer to pay $1M to not include affordable units at East Providence complex

A.R. Building Co. of Pittsburgh is building phase one of its project, three new apartment buildings at Kettle Point, off Veterans Memorial Parkway.

EAST PROVIDENCE — A developer would prefer to pay a fee of nearly $1 million to the city instead of setting aside 10 percent of the 228 apartments to be built at Kettle Point as “affordable” units.

And on Thursday night, members of the East Providence Waterfront District Commission narrowly approved the in-lieu payment by a 4-2 vote, having previously deadlocked in two 3-to-3 votes — one Thursday night and another at its previous meeting.

In 2015, the commission decided to require that 5 percent of the Kettle Point apartments be affordable, and to accept a payment in lieu for the other 5-percent requirement, from A.R. Building Co. of Pittsburgh. The company is now building phase one of its project, three new apartment buildings, at Kettle Point, off Veterans Memorial Parkway.

Thursday's vote was to increase the in-lieu payment and drop the requirement for any affordable units there. Jason Kambitsas, vice president of acquisitions and development for the company, said the request was based on the company's plans to keep the building long-term and to make administration easier.

“We're a market-rate developer,” he said.

The vote allowing the 10-percent in-lieu payment, a total of $969,000, or $42,500 for every affordable unit that would have been required (22.8 units), was approved by members William Fazioli, Paul Moura, Jay Kern and Roy Coulombe. David Sluter and Peter Willey opposed the request.

Fazioli initially opposed the request, but changed his vote to break the tie. Three other members were not present.

To view the complete article, visit Providence Journal

Courtesy of Providence Journal

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