State to purchase former Charlesgate Nursing Center for nearly $7M

The purchase price for the state to buy the former Charlesgate Nursing Center to convert into temporary housing for homeless families is $6.95 million, the Department of Housing announced Tuesday.

The price was made public one week after the State Properties Committee unanimously voted for the department to enter a purchase and sale agreement with the nursing home’s owner. At the time, committee members praised the Housing Department for purchasing the building for $1.5 million less than its appraisal price, which was not disclosed.

The city of Providence, though, assessed the property at roughly $6.46 million for fiscal year 2023 – roughly $490,00 less than the announced purchase price.

The Housing Department declined to disclose the appraisal.

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“As the purchase price may require negotiation after due diligence, we are not yet releasing that information so as to not jeopardize any negotiations that may occur with the seller,” Housing Department spokesperson Patti Doyle said in an email Wednesday.

The nursing home at 100 Randall Square off North Main Street in Providence closed in May after 50 years in operation. Since late June, it has been used as a family shelter and administered by Amos House, a Providence social services nonprofit organization.

Amos House is expected to use up to 57 rooms this winter, the Housing Department said.

The building is expected to provide up to 100 rooms for shelter space, with the intention to make it permanent housing.

“An acquisition such as this helps to fulfill Governor McKee’s charge that we invest public funds in assets we can utilize for housing related purposes over the long term,” Housing Secretary Stefan Pryor said in a statement.

Officials said the cost of the acquisition will be covered by the state’s fiscal year 2024 Homelessness Infrastructure fund, of which the General Assembly appropriated $30 million toward. Funds must be used “to support a program to respond to and prevent homelessness” through either the acquisition or construction of shelter space in Rhode Island.

Christopher Shea is a staff writer for the Rhode Island Current.