‘Perfect storm’ leads to housing boom in the city

<b>A ROOFTOP TERRACE</b> is one of many luxury touches added to the former Peerless Building when Cornish Associates turned the old department store in downtown Providence into loft-style apartments.
A ROOFTOP TERRACE is one of many luxury touches added to the former Peerless Building when Cornish Associates turned the old department store in downtown Providence into loft-style apartments.
During the recession of the early 1990s, housing development in Providence slowed along with the city’s real estate values. Just ask Arnold “Buff” Chace Jr., who in a recent interview recalled buying the historic Smith Building during that time for $5 per square foot. “There was no real hope for improving the building until new…

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