Providence’s second-tallest building up for sale

The Providence skyline. (Kim Kalunian/WPRI-TV)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The second-tallest building in Providence is currently on the market.

One Financial Plaza, a 28-story tower located in the heart of downtown’s financial district, was listed for sale by the firm CBRE on Feb. 23.

The listing boasts about the building’s 80-percent occupancy rate, with tenants listed as Bank of America, Santander Bank, the law firm Locke Lorde, Morgan Stanley, and Oppenheimer; those tenants’ leases are not up until 2021 or later, according to CBRE. It also has a first-floor Starbucks.

The listing puts the building’s net operating income at $3.8 million.

The asking price for the skyscraper is not listed, but Providence tax records show the building was assessed at $56.9 million in 2016. Originally called the Hospital Trust Tower, the building was erected in 1974 and has more than 300,000 square feet of office space.

One Financial Plaza is currently owned and operated by Meritage Properties of Scarsdale, New York. Meritage CEO Andrew Nathan said the group purchased the property in 2007 as part of an investment fund.

“The fund is at the end of its life and our debt is coming due,” said Nathan. “And as much as we love, and we truly do love Providence, and think the best days of Providence are in front of it, the structure of our ownership makes this the right time to sell.”

Nathan added, “If I owned this building outside of an investment fund it would not be for sale.”

Nathan believes the building is likely to sell within the next six months.

The tower stands just a stone’s throw from the Superman building at 111 Westminster Street, Rhode Island’s tallest skyscraper. The building has been vacant since Bank of America vacated it in 2013 and is currently only open to the public for pre-scheduled tours. Last year, Eyewitness News learned PayPal was eyeing the building to house a new operations center, but its future remains uncertain.

Nathan said One FInancial Plaza and the Superman building are “very, very different assets.”

“The Superman building is an old asset that’s completely empty that would need to be gut renovated,” he said.

He said One FInancial Plaza is very well maintained Class-A office space.

“The profile of what you’re buying is completely different,” said Nathan.