Who Is the Man Buying Up Providence’s East Side?
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Bronhard, who once opened a chiropractic office in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, is now listed as the sole owner of dozens of properties throughout the city and many are clustered near Wayland Square, Brown University, and College Hill neighborhoods. Combined, and conservatively, estimates put the combined property values at more than $50 million.
SLIDES: SEE VALUES OF BRONHARD HOLDINGS BELOW
Massive Collection of Properties
Bronhard's holdings are not limited to the East Side. According to city records, he once owned the historic multi-million dollar Telephone Building on Union Street downtown, but recently sold that property in March of this year. The five-story was rehabbed into top level apartments.
While some of the properties are leased as luxury properties, others are marketed to college students - and the condition of those properties are among those that have come under criticism from neighborhood groups.
His real estate holdings often attract legal wranglings, as Bronhard is involved in dozens of lawsuits with him suing existing and former tenants - and tenants suing him.
“CHNA is currently investigating anti-slum-lord ordinances in other cities in hopes of sponsoring legislation to give the building department broader authority to inspect interior spaces based on repeat violations reported about the exterior,” said Josh Eisen, President of the College Hill Neighborhood Association.
The Providence Preservation Society has also heard concerns from neighbors. “Numerous Benefit Street property owners have contacted the PPS about the condition of multi-family properties and PPS is actively compiling data to see what the extent of that is," said Brent Runyon of the PPS.
“If a tenant is dealing with repeat code violations they can reach out to the Rhode Island Center for Justice to prosecute repeat offenders under the Landlord-Tenant Act,” said Eisen. “But tenants are often too intimidated or resource constrained to pursue action, so we are seeking to help neighbors ensure these historic properties are properly maintained inside by reporting problems they can see from the outside. Based on the survey completed by PPS, there are currently a lot of exterior problems.”
Bronhard did not respond to email and phone requests by GoLocal.
Campaign finance records show that Bronhard has given $18,000 to Rhode Island candidates and elected officials.
Bronhard's donations include annual $1,000 donations to Providence Mayors Angel Taveras, Jorge Elorza and to Governor Gina Raimondo.
Editor's Note: A previous version stated Bronhard currently owns the Telephone Building. At the time of publication, the tax assessor's office available online shows Bronhard still owning it; however it was purchased on March 31, 2017 by Telephone Building, LLC.
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