Providence, RI Bank Rhode Island’s (BankRI) Commercial Real Estate Division has provided $28.4 million in financing to Cornish Associates for a major project in downtown, known as Down City II, LLC. The loan will support the construction, expansion, and renovation of three historic properties on Westminster St.; the Trayne building at 270, and the Lapham-Wit buildings at 276-290.
With the financing, BankRI’s client will move forward with developing a total of 52 units of market-rate apartments; more than 11,000 s/f of retail space, and nearly 9,000 s/f dedicated to offices. BankRI’s loan is construction-to-permanent financing, and the project features the use of RebuildRI (state-level incentives), city-level financial incentives, and federal historic credits. BankRI has provided bridge funding for state and federal sources. Providence Revolving Loan Fund also has participated in funding for the project.
“This is an exciting, highly visible project that will take an already desirable area of our Capital City – the Westminster Corridor – and elevate it further,” said Andrew Deluski, SVP, commercial real estate, BankRI, and who facilitated the deal on the bank’s behalf. “Cornish Associates and their partners are experts in revitalizing and transforming historic buildings for mixed-use; it has been a pleasure to work with them and move toward making their vision a reality.”
At 270 Westminster, the Trayne building is a 15,454 s/f, 5-story property built in 1893. Through the financed project, a 4-story, 6,272 s/f addition will be added to the building’s East side. The first floor of the original structure and the addition will be for commercial usage, and the remaining upper levels will house 17 apartments; a mix consisting of 4 studios, 10 one-bedroom, and 3 two-bedroom units.
Located at 276-290 Westminster and together known as the Lapham-Wit buildings, the Cornish Associates project will merge the 2-story (Wit) and 9-story (Lapham) historic buildings into spaces for office and retail use. The project will also reposition the long-vacant upper floors of Lapham into apartments. Built in 1925 and its first floor having undergone significant work in recent years, the second floor of the 2-story Wit building will undergo a full rehabilitation, including the creation of a new physical connection to Lapham. For the 69,000 s/f Lapham building, plans call for a complete renovation, with the first two floors remaining dedicated to commercial use. The third through ninth floors will be dedicated to residential, featuring 21 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom units.
On the Down City II project, Site Specific is the general contractor, Union Studios is the architect, and Peregrine Group Advisory has acted as project manager for the project since inception. Westlo, an affiliate of Cornish Associates, will act as property management upon completion.