ON THE HORIZON: Matt Fair, left, and Peter Hayes, brokers with Hayes & Sherry, at the site of the former Victory Plating Co. “What the owners have asked us to do is expand the horizons for the site,” Fair said.
A few blocks south of the chewed up swath of land where Interstate 195 used to run through Providence’s Jewelry District is another dusty, vacant lot in need of a productive use: the former Ward Baking Co. Property.
In a hotter real estate market, the Eddy Street property could have been a pioneer in transforming traditional industrial facilities into catalysts of the knowledge economy.
Two separate ownership groups have proposed building large medical-research facilities on the 5.3-acre property, but since the complex was vacated, the only activity there has been demolition of a handful of single-story, brick industrial buildings.
Now two years after buying the property out of receivership, owner JAG Investment Realty Company has changed the property’s name from Victory Square to Victory Place and put it back up for sale.
JAG, whose principals include auto dealer Richard Gudoian, is entertaining all kinds of offers for the property, from purchase, to a long-term development lease, to a joint-development partnership.
“What the owners have asked us to do is expand the horizons for the site,” said Matt Fair, broker with Hayes & Sherry Real Estate Services, which was hired in September to market the property. “There are a lot of opportunities outside the immediate market.”
While looking for potential users, JAG has been cleaning up the site, clearing title, testing the soil and completing grading to prepare for construction.
That effort to make the property “pad ready” has brought it to the last surviving part of the old industrial complex, the Ward Baking administrative building, which could be razed early next spring.
Built in an art-deco style between 1901 and 1908, the two-story, diamond-shaped building at the corner of Eddy and Globe Streets was, after a campaign to save it by neighborhood and preservation groups, going to be integrated into the medical complex in earlier development plans.