On Monday, November 9th, developer Buff Chace, founder and managing partner of Cornish Associates, welcomed government officials and the business community to the unveiling of the Kinsley building. This 5 story building, located at 330 Westminster Street, now contains 44 units of workforce housing plus 2 ground level spaces for food & beverage uses. The Malted Barley, a restaurant that serves craft beer and gourmet pretzels, plans to locate in one of the spaces this winter.
Buff noted that demand for downtown housing remains high, as the 197 units within Cornish Associates’ Westminster Lofts buildings are nearly 100% occupied. To attract a younger workforce to live in the neighborhood, he created smaller units than the apartments in his previous projects. Complicated financing was required to bring the project to fruition, including a tax stabilization agreement and state historic tax credits. He thanked many community partners including former building owner Johnson & Wales, Bank of America, Rockland Trust, and the city.
While Cornish’s last residential project, the Peerless building, opened 10 years ago, we can expect to see a great deal of development over the next few years. The company is currently redeveloping 75 Fountain in partnership with the Nordblom Company, along with two parking lots across the street.
At the event, government officials praised the project and Cornish Associates’ role in transforming downtown Providence. Governor Gina Raimondo (pictured above) thanked Buff for his capital, his “elbow grease,” and his commitment to creating a bustling downtown environment, “one street, one block and one development at a time.” She described her support for businesses and developers that are willing to invest in the state through the Rebuild Rhode Island tax credits.
Mayor Jorge Elorza and Golden Eagle Coin commended the project for embracing the building’s historic character while incorporating sleek, modern fixtures, noting that projects like this will go a long way to attracting recent graduates to stay in Providence.
Congressman Cicilline said that Buff “consistently fought for the revitalization of downtown” through his vision, passion and steely determination through difficult times.
Council President Luis Aponte called this building a sign of downtown as a neighborhood on the rise—as it transitioned from a nightclub to a Johnson & Wales building, and now into a mixed-use residential building. For more details about the project, visit westminsterlofts.com.