I-195 commission sees growing role for real estate investment trust Ventas

Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor says state leaders welcome Ventas’ commitment to invest in Providence and the Wexford project.

PROVIDENCE — As a Chicago-based real estate investment trust, Ventas has entered the Providence market with a $151-million acquisition of South Street Landing and other property near former Route 195 land, negotiations for a planned innovation complex on now-vacant 195 land continue between state leaders and Wexford Science & Technology, of Baltimore.

Ventas and Wexford are closely affiliated: Ventas bought Wexford’s real-estate assets last year for $1.5 billion, yet Wexford manages and operates Ventas’ portfolio. Wexford and CV Properties, of Boston and Southport, Connecticut, have been negotiating with state leaders since at least early 2015 to build on about five acres of 195 land.

On Monday, Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said he ultimately expects Ventas to become owner of those 195 parcels. He and 195 district leaders are in communication with Ventas executives but Ventas hasn’t become lead negotiator for the land acquisition, Pryor said after the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission meeting.

Ventas and Wexford executives have declined Providence Journal interview requests.

Pryor said state leaders welcome Ventas’ commitment to invest financially in the city and the Wexford project.

“Ventas is a very high-quality organization that conducts extensive due diligence and makes disciplined decisions,” Pryor said. “This is a vote of confidence in favor of Rhode Island.”

At the 195 meeting, Commission Chairman Joseph F. Azrack spoke publicly for the first time about the commission’s efforts thus far to reconfigure Parcel 42.

That’s the acre of land along Dyer Street where New York developer Jason Fane in November pitched a proposal for three high-rise luxury towers. In January, the commission told The Fane Organization it will only entertain a proposal for one tower, on the northern portion of 42.

Full Story