ONE Neighborhood Builders starts construction on East Providence development

ONE NEIGHBORHOOD BUILDERS recently began construction on a 16-unit affordable housing development at 336 Bullocks Point Ave. in East Providence called Residences at Riverside Square. / COURTESY ONE NEIGHBORHOOD BUILDERS

EAST PROVIDENCE – The nonprofit ONE Neighborhood Builders recently broke ground for construction on a 16-unit affordable housing development on Bullocks Point Avenue called Residences at Riverside Square, the organization announced recently.

ONE Neighborhood Builders acquired the long-vacant 336 Bullocks Point Ave. property two years ago.

ONE Neighborhood Builders is constructing a three-story building on the site, with three of the 16 affordable one- and two-bedroom apartments being reserved for youths aging out of foster care, through a partnership with the nonprofit Foster Forward.

The property is known as the “old Vamco site,” a contaminated parcel that once belonged to a jewelry manufacturing company of that name. The city previously acquired the site and knocked down three buildings there in 2013, before putting the property out to bid. The current development required a cleanup of the site, the nonprofit and city said.

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The Residences at Riverside Square housing development is expected to be completed in early 2024.

The architect of the housing development is the Providence-based Union Studio Architecture & Community Design, in partnership with the Providence-based Commonwealth Engineers & Consultants Inc. The Residences at Riverside Square building is being managed by Peabody Properties Inc., according to ONE Neighborhood Builders.

“This groundbreaking is a signal that we can do big things when we work together,” said Jennifer Hawkins, president and executive director of ONE Neighborhood Builders. “While this project on its own won’t solve the state’s housing crisis, it is an example of the kinds of projects – at scale – that can.”

The apartments are designated for extremely low-income to moderate-income households, meaning individuals earning between 30% and 80% of the area median income, which is an annual income of approximately $20,000 to $70,000, depending upon household size, according to ONE Neighborhood Builders.

The Residences at Riverside Square development was made possible due to ONE Neighborhood Builders obtaining $1 million for the project through the R.I. Housing Mortgage and Finance Corp.’s Rhode Island Rebounds Award fund, according to the nonprofit.

Mayor Roberto L. DaSilva said he’s proud of the city’s efforts to help revitalize the site and applauded ONE Neighborhood Builders for working together with Foster Forward to help youths aging out of foster care by designing three units at the development for the cause.

“The Residences at Riverside Square will not only bring new life to a property that sat vacant for years, but it will provide [youths] transitioning out of foster care a place to call home,” DaSilva said. “To me, that’s a definite win.”

Marc Larocque is a PBN contributing writer. 

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