R.I. Housing breaks ground on historic Providence mill redevelopment

THE REDEVELOPMENT OF 60 KING St., The former home of the Imperial Knife Company, broke ground today. / COURTESY TRINITY FINANCIAL LLC
THE REDEVELOPMENT OF 60 KING St., The former home of the Imperial Knife Company, broke ground today. / COURTESY TRINITY FINANCIAL LLC

PROVIDENCE – One more of Providence’s historic mills will be getting a face-lift this year, thanks to an ongoing revitalization effort called the “Build Olneyville Plan,” a program focused on improving the Olneyville neighborhood and the nearby Manton Heights public housing development. R.I. Housing, Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and a group of lenders and contractors today broke ground at 60 King St., the former home of the Imperial Knife Company, it announced Tuesday in a press release.

The 60 King building was originally constructed in 1923 as a wool production facility for the Rochambeau Worsted Company. In the 1950s, the mill was sold to the Imperial Knife Company, which operated in the building until 1987. A series of tenants occupied the building during the 1990s and early 2000s, but it has remained vacant since around 2007.

Construction on the building will result in the creation of 60 units of mixed-income housing, as well the remediation of an environmentally contaminated brownfield site, according to the release. The site will be managed by the property management arm of Trinity Financial LLC, a real estate development firm with offices in Boston and New York. The site is Trinity’s first project in Providence.

“Rhode Island is on the move,” said Raimondo. “We work hard to create jobs, but it’s important to remember that it’s a lot harder to go to work if you don’t have a roof over your head. That’s why the 60 King St. project is so critical. I am thankful to Trinity Financial, R.I. Housing, ONE Neighborhood Builders, and the rest of the team for their hard work increasing Rhode Islanders’ access to decent housing.”

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The total redevelopment of 60 King is budgeted at approximately $22.5 million and will be financed with a blend of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Federal Historic Tax Credits, State Historic Tax Credits, R.I. Housing HOME funds, State of Rhode Island Housing Preservation and Production Program funds, R.I. DEM Brownfields Remediation Funding and City of Providence HOME funds.

The Build Olneyville Plan was initially funded by a 2011 Choice Neighborhood Initiative grant sponsored by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Liz Lee is a reporter for PBN.