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NEW: Paolino Acquires 3 Downtown Providence Properties for $60M

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


100 Wesminster is now the only Rhode Island-owned high rise in Providence, with the acquisition today by Paolino Properties.

Paolino Properties has announced the $60M acquisition of three downtown Providence properties --  100 Westminster Street, 30 Kennedy Plaza and the parking lot and historic facade at 110 Westminster Street.

"I'm pretty excited about this," former Mayor Joseph R.Paolino, Jr. told GoLocal. "This is now the only locally owned high-rise. They're all owned by out of state firms -- New York firms, the G-Tech building is Texas-owned." 

The Postmodern 100 Westminster Street, which opened in 1984, is a 350,000 square foot class A office building and currently home to Providence Equity Partners, Hinckley Allen, Nortek, Bank of America, the US Attorney, Wells Fargo and others. It is a Postmodern skyscraper opened in 1984. 

"We've been working on this deal since December 2012," said Paolino, of all three properties that were owned by O'Connor Capital Partners in New York.  "We finished signing the papers last night."

Vision for Restaurant, Hotel, Arts

Former Mayor of Providence -- and head of Paolino Properties -- Joseph Paolino, Jr.

Paolino spoke to his vision for the adjacent properties, and parking lot across the street.  

"My goal for 100 Westminster is to keep it 100% occupied.  I want to take the atrium lobby and put another restaurant there and open it up for dining.  I want to make the lobby an art gallery to have a statement of art downtown, as an art showplace, so people can enjoy art downtown. There's not enough of that in Providence. I've travelled to many other cities where I've seen how art can compliment an urban landscape."

Regarding the 30 Kennedy Plaza building next door, Paolino said he hoped to put a hotel in the historic building.  

"Mayor Taveras has suggested looking at that as hotel space for a boutique hotel, and have that be incorporated into building next door. It will be Ideal for tenants of the building to have a hotel directly connected -- visitors can have breakfast in AuBonPain, and the new restaurant will provide a dining option."

Paolino spoke to the importance of the 100 Westminster building in his life, and career.   "Years ago, there was a restaurant there -- Improv -- and I used to go every Friday night. When I was in my early 20s, when this building was being talked about, they needed government assistance to make it happen.  The City Council applied for an urban development action grant, and it opened when I became Mayor in 1984.  I've always considered this the nicest, most attractive building in the city."

Surfact Lot -- and Superman?

Paolino also spoke to the surface lot and historic facade being aquired at 110 Westminster.  

"That parking lot was going to condos, and a W Hotel.  Unfortunately, the building was demolished.  I'd love to incorporate the facade into a new development," said Paolino.  "Of course, parking will part part of any development that goes up."  

Paolino noted he would most likely be seeking historic tax credits to make the projects a reality.   "I think the historic tax credits would be ideal for what we're looking to do. I will most likely apply, I don't know the amount at this time, not knowing yet the scope of work needed." 

Of the still vacant Superman Building next door, Paolino said, "I think housing is the only answer, unless Brown, RISD, or Johnson and Wales takes it over."  

Paolino Properties and Counsel 

Paolino Properties is a fourth generation family-owned and operated real estate investment, development, and management company. With roots in downtown Providence the company's holdings include office, industrial, retail and residential properties throughout the state and beyond.

Local counsel to Paolino Properties was Thomas V. Moses of Moses Afonso Ryan, Ltd. Andrew Lance of Gibson Dunn, New York also represented Paolino Properties through the transaction. 


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