TPG unveils $1.4B ‘O2’ development plan <br>that begins with buying Newport Grand

THE NORTH END, as envisioned by TPG and TRO Jung | Brannen after the completion of the $1.4 billion private development.  /
THE NORTH END, as envisioned by TPG and TRO Jung | Brannen after the completion of the $1.4 billion private development. /

NEWPORT – The Procaccianti Group, joined by business leaders and elected officials from Newport and Aquidneck Island, today announced the beginning of an entertainment/residential/commercial development plan for the city’s North End that could total as much as $1.4 billion in private investment by the time it is done.

The Cranston-based developer/hotel owner is nearing completion of the first step of the project, the acquisition of Newport Grand, pending state approval of the transfer to TPG of the license for the venue’s video lottery terminals. The VLT license is held by the current owners: CEO Diane Hurley and the rest of the family of Arthur Silvester, who developed the original Newport Jai Alai fronton in 1976.

The purchase price has been set at $155 million, according to TPG Marketing Communications Director Ralph V. Izzi Jr. The company confirmed that TPG is continuing with existing plans to expand Newport Grand’s gaming capacity to 2,201 VLTs from 1,070, as well as plans to build a hotel adjoining the property.

The project’s is titled “O2 Newport”; the name incorporates the chemical symbol for oxygen.

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U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy joined TPG and Newport Grand officials at the Newport news conference, urging the state to come through with the needed infrastructure improvements to make the project a reality.

Keith W. Stokes, executive director of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce, said that in addition to creating new jobs and housing for residents of Newport’s North End, the project will connect the community, one of the poorest urban areas in the state, to the rest of the city through intermodal transportation. That is just one feature of the “New Urbanist” perspective that the plan embraces.

For more on this story, please read the April 9 issue of Providence Business News.

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