Somebody Bites in I-195 District (Looking for Subsidies)


John Bender and Ian Donnis are reporting on RIPR that Wexford Science & Technology has signed a purchase and sale agreement for a couple of I-195 parcels:

Baltimore-based Wexford Science and Technology and real estate developer CV Properties have signed a purchase and sale agreement for two parcels of land and plan to develop a three-phase project on the vacant former highway land with research and development space, offices, hotel and residential space and other attractions. …

The cost for the parcels of land, (numbers 22 and 25) was about $6.6 million, according to Dyana Koelsch, spokeswoman for the I-195 Commission, the agency tasked with developing the land.

The company intends to request subsidies from the Commerce Corp.’s huge slush fund, created through a refinancing gimmick in Governor Gina Raimondo’s 2016 budget proposal.  That detail, along with any tax deals from the city and state, as well as other details, will be important for evaluating whether the deal puts most of the cost and risk on the company or on Rhode Islanders.   With construction initially expected to begin next year, it will also be awhile before the success of the business model is known.

With Wexford’s two lots gone, 14 of the original 18 parcels available on the land remain available.  In total, Wexford’s purchase covers 27% of the land freed up by the highway rerouting, not counting that which is set aside for parks.