EAST PROVIDENCE — ONE Neighborhood Builders broke ground in recent days on the long-awaited redevelopment of the former VAMCO Jewelry Co. site off Bullocks Point Avenue in the Riverside section …
EAST PROVIDENCE — ONE Neighborhood Builders broke ground in recent days on the long-awaited redevelopment of the former VAMCO Jewelry Co. site off Bullocks Point Avenue in the Riverside section of the city, where the non-profit developer is planning to construct an affordable housing complex.
The January 2023 start of the “Residences at Riverside Square” project, which consists of 16 one- and two-bedroom apartments at 336 Bullocks Point Ave., begins an estimated two-and-a-half-year build out timeline. The endeavor is tentatively set to be completed by the summer of 2025.
The VAMCO site had vexed city officials and developers for years. Several plans to overhaul the contaminated parcel, at the corner of Bullocks Point and Fenner Avenues, had come and gone before ONE Neighborhood, which also redeveloped the “Sutton Place” apartments on Sutton Avenue between Broadway and Massasoit Avenue in the center of the city, stepped into the void some two years ago.
ONE Neighborhood secured a series of funding sources and gained the necessary approvals from the municipal planning and zoning boards to finally bring a proposal to fruition.
The units are aimed at “extremely low-moderate income households.” Three of the apartments are being reserved for youth aging out of foster care. The work to house those young adults will be done in partnership with Foster Forward, the East Providence-based nonprofit.
To qualify to live at the new development, residents must have an income of between 30% and 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), which is an annual income of approximately $20,000 to $70,000, dependent upon household size. At “Sutton Place,” where ONE Neighborhood renovated the existing 36 units in two structures containing 14 studio and 22 one-bedroom units, the income restrictions are also between 30% and 80% of AMI.
For the nearby community, the “Residences at Riverside Square” removes another of the once blighted properties running through the heart of Riverside just past the square. It’s also noteworthy for being adjacent to the East Bay Bike Path and near a busy mass transit stop. In addition, ONE Neighborhood is planning to provide free in-home internet access to all tenants.
In real estate parlance, Riverside Square is considered a “pocket neighborhood,” with other significant investments being made by commercial interests. It’s also been a point of emphasis by the city to assist in bringing art, sitting areas, landscaping, and other improvements along the prized East Bay Bike Path that connects East Providence with adjacent communities Providence, Barrington, Warren, and Bristol.
The “Residences at Riverside Square” are the second of three projects ONE Neighborhood is involved with in the city.
Late last year it joined the private real estate firm Churchill & Banks, through its subsidiary Noble Development, and another non-profit Aldersbridge Communities in the “East Point” housing complex, which will see a variety of accommodations at the long-dormant Washburn Wire/Ocean State Steel facility off Roger Williams Avenue in Rumford. Groundbreaking for that project took place in November 2022.
As part of the development, Aldersbridge is leading an endeavor to construct 39 age restricted apartments geared towards low-income residents 55 and older who are members of the LGBTQI+ community.
C&B/Noble, which initiated the “Kettle Point” development in city off Veterans Memorial Parkway nearly a decade ago now, plans to build upwards of 390 residential units of various types (apartments, duplexes, single family) on the 27-acre site.
To fund its share of the “East Point” project and four others around the state, ONE Neighborhood recently announced it has submitted proposals to Rhode Island Housing for grants to develop and refurbish a total of 282 rental homes around the state; 169 new apartments and 113 existing affordable units.