South Street nursing school project secures financing

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Baltimore-based biomed realty company that wants to build a life-sciences complex on the vacant I-195 land has agreed to become the “capital funding source” for the nursing education center inside the old South Street Power Station.

Wexford Science & Technology, a company known nationally for partnering with colleges and universities to create large-scale multi-use developments, will supply funding for the $220 million project, according to Dick Galvin, the president of the CV Properties LLC, the developer of the nursing center.

“This is a logical step for Wexford given their broader interest in investing in Providence through their proposed development with CV Properties for a large life-sciences complex on nearby I-195 land,” Galvin said in prepared statement.

Monday’s announcement means CV Properties can move forward with the development of the 265,000-square-foot complex known as South Street Landing. Students from the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College are expected to begin taking classes in the downtown facility beginning in January 2017.

“With the closing behind us, a ground lease in place with National Grid, and contractor liens from the prior development activities on the property paid, we are excited to advance on the construction of the South Street Landing and the parking garage,” Galvin said.

Galvin’s firm is also working with Wexford on a proposed million-square-foot-plus multi-use project on parcel 22 and parcel 25 of the I-195 land. Officials with each company have said they want the complex to include educational facilities as well as retail and residential space.

No proposal for the complex on the I-195 land has been introduced, but Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza signed an ordinance into law last week that provides tax breaks to developers on the former highway space. The life-sciences center would likely qualify for a 20-year tax deal from the city.

As for the nursing center, the project has already secured its own tax deal from the city. Earlier this month, Elorza and the City Council agreed to modify the existing 15-year agreement with the city to align “with the current schedule of the project,” Eric Cote, a spokesman for CV Properties, told WPRI.com.

In February, the Providence Economic Development Partnership (PEDP) agreed to write off more than $200,000 from a loan it approved in 2009 to help turn the former South Street Power Station into a museum. The project never panned out and the PEDP’s decision to write the loan off relinquished the city from a lien it had over the property.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan

Ted Nesi contributed to this report.

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