It was sorry news indeed to read of the plight of the Baltimore-based developer Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse the other day in the ProJo. The developer, which specializes in converting old mill buildings for new use, had been very active in RI and Providence in particular during the last decade. (more...)
The company helped redevelop parts of perpetually sorry-state Olneyville with its Rising Sun Mills and West Warwick with its Royal Mills projects; in Providence with Calendar Mills and the American Locomotive Works (ALCO), among others.
Unfortunately, the economic downturn and the withdrawal of historic tax-credits by the state severly affected its bottom line, leaving four additional phases of the ALCO and the Dynamo museum building (formerly the old Narragansett Electric plant) uncompleted and now in limbo. Struever Bros. has cut its RI-based staff and can't pay a number of sub-contractors.
The economic downturn was bad enough for them, drying up credit, but the loss of the historic tax-credit didn't help either. We've seen the last of the mill conversions that depended so much on this important tax break. Compared with the short-sighted, near worthless film industry tax credit - also now mostly gone - the historic tax-credit made most of these old building conversions possible in the first place. If we hadn't had the historic tax-credit the former masonic temple would still be an empty hulk next to the state house.