I-195 student housing developer asks for extension to complete negotiations, including for tax deal

PROVIDENCE – A company that has proposed to develop a 1.25-acre site on the former Interstate 195 land for student apartments has asked for more time to complete its review of the property and obtain a tax incentive agreement through the city.

The agenda for the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission meeting Monday includes a request by Phoenix-Lincoln, which signed an agreement to purchase the site in November, for additional time to complete the due diligence process and secure a tax stabilization agreement and vote. The company, Dallas-based Phoenix Property Company and Lincoln Property, has an affiliate firm, Friendship & Clifford LLC, which will develop the site.

Under the purchase and sale agreement, Phoenix-Lincoln can stop the purchase if it doesn’t obtain a tax stabilization agreement with the city by March 1.

The 90-day due diligence period is set to expire Wednesday. The purchase and sale agreement indicates that could include the company’s review of the title and environmental conditions of the site.

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The purchase and sale agreement calls for an additional deposit by the company of $270,000 two days after the period ends.

The specific details of the request for additional time being made by company officials were not released Friday, but a spokeswoman for the I-195 commission said the company is seeking more time to complete its due diligence process.

Jason P. Runnels, executive vice president and principal of Phoenix Property, who oversees the student housing division of the company, signed the purchase agreement. He could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
The $50 million project, for Parcel 28 on the former 195 lands, would install a six-floor, 500-bed student apartment building between Clifford, Friendship, Chestnut and Richmond streets. The company announced last month it also plans to purchase a 0.24-acre adjoining site, a parcel that now holds a building with two nightclubs.

The negotiated price for the 1.25-acre Parcel 28 site was $2.7 million. The adjoining 0.24-acre property, which is located just outside the I-195 land, has a contract with a private owner and the price was not disclosed.