BY KATE BRAMSON
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Carpionato Group, a commercial real estate development firm in Johnston, has submitted a proposal to the Route 195 Redevelopment District Commission to develop former highway land east of the Providence River, spokesman Gregg Perry told The Providence Journal Tuesday.
The Carpionato Group, led by President and CEO Alfred Carpionato, has proposed a mixed-use development that would cost about $250 million to build, Carpionato is not partnering with other developers on the proposal, Perry said. He would attain funding for the development “through a number of financial institutions,” Perry said, declining to name them.
The submitted proposal is substantially similar to plans the firm outlined to The Providence Journal in February 2013. Back then, the developer told The Providence Journal he expected financing would come from existing agreements he has with Citizens Financial Group, Sovereign Bank or another bank.
It’s unclear how much competition exists to develop the land that Carpionato hopes to secure. The 195 commission debated in closed session Monday night proposals that were submitted by its May 1 deadline, the first time developers were able to submit formal bids for the land. But commissioners have not said how many proposals were submitted because the commission has adopted a confidentiality policy not to name proposed developers until it and a developer sign a letter of intent. Such a letter would be non-binding, but it would be an agreement that the two parties would negotiate exclusively with the hopes of signing a purchase and sale agreement.
A handful of developers attended each of two public sessions the commission held earlier this year. Two firms traveled from the Greater New York area to attend those sessions. An executive for one of those firms — The Pegasus Group in New York City — told The Providence Journal Monday it did not submit a proposal.
“There were just too many unknowns,” said the group’s chief financial officer, Edward Kohler. “Specifically, it was really the tax structure and looking at the cost of doing business in Providence. … The [tax] liability was an unknown. It was just too much of a risk.”
Carpionato proposes to build on five of the six land parcels available on the eastern portion of land vacated by the state’s Route 195 relocation project. The name of the proposal has changed from “thePromenade” to “theConnection at College Hill,” Perry said. The proposed size for various buildings has changed since that early plan.
Carpionato has proposed building the following: 170,445 square feet of office and laboratory space, down from 171,500 square feet; 174,105 square feet of residential property, up from 169,000 square feet; an 85,000 square-foot hotel compared with a 90,000-square-foot hotel; and 108,593 square feet of retail and restaurant space, down from 132,500 square feet, Perry said.
“Mr. Carpionato has a vision for this property,” Perry said. “It is a signature project that he greatly believes in.”