R.I. Housing awards $1M for Residences at Riverside Square apartment construction

PICTURED IS A RENDERING of the Residences at Riverside Square, a new affordable apartment development that will be located along the East Bay Bike Path at 336 Bullocks Point Ave. in East Providence. / COURTESY CITY OF EAST PROVIDENCE

EAST PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp. has approved $1 million in funding for ONE Neighborhood Builders’ construction of new affordable rental apartments on Bullocks Point Avenue called the Residences at Riverside Square.

The R.I. Housing board of commissioners approved a $1 million RI Rebounds Production Fund Program award for the project on June 16. The multi-story development will be built along the East Bay Bike Path at 336 Bullocks Point Ave., a long-vacant and blighted brownfield site that used to house the factory for former jewelry manufacturer Vamco.

The city purchased the site, located at the corner of Fenner and Bullocks Point avenues, in 2007, later demolishing the factory and clearing the property for redevelopment. In July 2020, the city issued a request for proposals seeking companies interested in purchasing and redeveloping the site for mixed-use projects, PBN reported.

The property is currently under a purchase and sale agreement between the city and ONE Neighborhood Builders, with the closing expected later this summer, said Patricia Resende, the city’s director of project management and communications, in an email to PBN.

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The Residences at Riverside Square will create 16 new affordable rental apartments for extremely low- to moderate-income households, according to a ONE Neighborhood Builders news release. The development will include a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments, with 16 off-street parking spaces. To qualify to live at the new development, residents must have an income of between 30% and 80% of the area median income, which is an annual income of approximately $20,000 to $70,000, dependent upon household size.

In partnership with Foster Forward, three of the apartments will be reserved for youths aging out of foster care, according to the release.

All local approvals for the project have been granted and site work is expected to begin this fall, Resende said.

“This funding is crucial so that we can redevelop long-vacant, blighted property into high-quality and affordable apartments that help us address the severe housing crisis in Rhode Island,” Jennifer Hawkins, executive director of ONE Neighborhood Builders, said in a statement.

Tim Norton is a PBN contributing writer.

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