For nearly 20 years, WaterFire has lit up downtown Providence and brought world-class art and culture events to the city.
Now, with some assistance from Bank of America, the group is getting a new headquarter.
Bank of America, a longtime sponsor of WaterFire, provided $5.3 million in financing for the rehabilitation of a warehouse building on Valley Street. Empty for years and falling apart, the building will become a multi-use arts center and a gateway destination for a burgeoning arts district and will bring much needed activity and vibrancy to the underserved Valley/Olneyville neighborhoods.
The loan, which closed October 25, included $5.3 million in Historic and New Market Tax Credit equity and a $5,350M of Round 12 BOA CDE New Markets Tax Credit allocation.
The project enables WaterFire Providence to consolidate all of its operations and personnel from six locations throughout the City of Providence into one building, while also providing public gallery space for performances and exhibitions, establishing youth development programs in arts education and boatbuilding, and hosting an International Center for Excellence for Creative Placemaking to include a public art incubator and learning lab.
The site is a Brownfield industrial site and the building is listed on the National Historic Register. WaterFire is projecting the project to be completed by October 2017.