Arctic Mill to be transformed into housing, commercial space


(The Center Square) – An historic property in Rhode Island is being repurposed to create housing, Gov. Dan McKee said.

The governor announced late Monday that The Arctic Mill will be redeveloped into housing and commercial space. The plan is to use the two separate historical textile mill facilities as a mixed-use complex featuring rental apartments and commercial space, including media rooms, a boxing gym, and more.

“As Rhode Island continues to lead the region in economic recovery, the Arctic Mills project promises to increase our state’s affordable and market-rate and housing supply while creating good paying jobs in the construction and aligned trades all while reinvigorating one of Rhode Island’s historic mills,” McKee said in the release. “For Rhode Island to be an attractive place to live, work, and raise a family, we must address the availability and quality of housing – that means everything from providing supports to those experiencing homelessness, to increasing affordable housing, to ensuring we build more workforce housing for our middle-class families.”

The Arctic Mill, according to the release, is a 19th century building that is being renovated by Knight Street Capital, the company who recently worked on Pontiac Mills in Warwick. The project will create 136 rental units, with 105 coming in at market rate and 31 reserved for families earning 100% of the Area Median Income. The property will also feature 10,000 square-feet for office and retail space.

McKee said his $250 million housing proposal in the General Assembly will permit the state to perform more projects to create housing options. The governor was joined at the event by U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, Rep. Jim Langevin, D-RI, Rhode Island Housing, and state and local officials.

“This is about preserving our history, investing in the future, and revitalizing neighborhoods. I’m pleased that this project will utilize federal investments to breathe new life into this historic property and do so in a way that will ensure more working families can afford a place to live and new businesses can find a place to thrive,” Reed said in the release.

Langevin said the effort to create more affordable housing options is “essential to economic growth and development” in the state.

Federal Historic Tax Credits, RIHousing’s Workforce Housing Loan, the RebuildRI Tax Credit program, and developer equity, according to the release, are being used to fund the project. The total cost is $32.7 million and will be administered by Commerce RI.

The RebuildRI Tax credit program, according to the release, offer gap financing for commercial office, industrial, residential, mixed-use development, new construction, and historical building rehabilitation projects with tax credits that are redeemable up to 20%, and 30% in some cases, for project costs. The credit, however, isn’t paid out until the project has its occupancy permit and will then be paid out over five years.

According to the release, the rental apartments will meet the needs for those in the central part of Rhode Island, with access to highways, public transportation, shopping, and recreational and educational places. The facility, when completed, will feature media rooms, a boxing gym, and breakout rooms

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