E.P. reaches affordable housing goal with opening of rehabilitated Sutton Place

A DESIGN RENDERING of the two-building Sutton Place apartment development in East Providence, which was renovated by ONE Neighborhood Builders. / COURTESY ED WOJCIK ARCHITECT LTD.

EAST PROVIDENCE – The city became the seventh municipality in Rhode Island to reach the state’s 10% community goal for affordable housing with the opening of a 36-unit complex on Monday.

ONE Neighborhood Builders hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly rehabilitated Sutton Place apartment complex of affordable housing.

“When communities invest in affordable housing, they are investing in a stronger economy. We would not be in a position to open the doors of Sutton Place without strong support from our partners in government, from the federal delegation all the way to the local and municipal leaders in East Providence,” said ONE Neighborhood Builders Executive Director Jen Hawkins. “East Providence is now the seventh municipality in Rhode Island to reach the state’s 10 percent low- and moderate-income housing goal.”

The complex, located at 54 and 60 Sutton Ave., consists of two identical building. ONE Neighborhood Builders, a Providence-based community development nonprofit, purchased the property last year for $3.3 million and invested more than $6 million into its renovation. Funding came from Rhode Island Housing, the state Housing Trust Fund and the East Providence Waterfront Commission. To qualify for the apartments, tenants must be at or below 80% of the area median income.

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East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. and housing leaders joined ONE Neighborhood Builders at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“This renovated building preserves affordable opportunities for people from all walks of life to live together in modern, enhanced apartments with new amenities,” said Reed. “Sutton Place is a great example of what can be accomplished when we work together to breathe new life into older buildings. It is a win for its residents and a win for the community.”

Whitehouse said, “Rhode Island families are getting squeezed by high housing costs. Solving this challenge is going to take a commitment from leaders at all levels of government. I commend Mayor DaSilva and state officials for seeing through the renovation of Sutton Place, and I’ll keep fighting down in Washington to secure funding to ensure every Rhode Islander has a safe, affordable place to call home.”

Renovations of the original properties, built in 1970, included installation of new windows and doors in common areas, landscaping, parking lot repairs, and a new roof at 54 Sutton. Individual apartments also underwent renovations, including new flooring, plumbing, kitchen and bath cabinets and countertops, new windows, doors, and fire and electrical code upgrades. ONE Neighborhood Builders served as the developer of the project, with Peabody Properties acting as property manager.

“There is a high demand for affordable housing units,” said DaSilva. “Despite this trend, only a handful of communities are welcoming new housing opportunities. With over 1,200 housing units currently under construction or permitted, East Providence is addressing this problem head-on.”

The project is ONE Neighborhood Builders’ first Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing project.

Claudia Chiappa is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at Chiappa@PBN.com. 

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