Officials seek meeting to discuss Urban League HQ sale
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Harold M. Metts and Rep. Joseph S. Almeida, in conjunction with Providence City Council member Davian Sanchez, have written to Providence and Urban League officials, requesting a meeting to discuss the potential sale of the Urban League headquarters on Prairie Avenue in Providence.
“We are confident that by working together, this can be a win, win opportunity for all,” said the letter sent late last week to Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, Providence Council President Michael Solomon and the Board of Directors of the Urban League.
Senator Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) and Representative Almeida (D-Dist. 12, Providence) said they joined with Councilman Sanchez in requesting a discussion about the property sale “because the Urban League is located in our area and we are trying to help facilitate the best decision and resolution possible, for the city and for all the individuals that we represent and who receive vital services from the Urban League.”
The letter requesting the meeting follows reports that a developer wants to buy the Prairie Avenue headquarters and land for $2.6 million and construct a medical facility. The building was deeded by the city to the Urban League in 1990 for $1. The Urban League, which has a current budget of about $4 million, also has debts greater than $2 million. The sale would allow the Urban League to pay off its debts, including $378,500 it owes to the Providence Economic Development Partnership.
But with the future of the Urban League headquarters in doubt, Senator Metts, Representative Almeida and Councilman Sanchez have asked for a meeting so “we work jointly to facilitate the sale and development of the Urban League site and secure the future of the Urban League as an effective organization that meets the growing and diverse needs of the Greater Providence and statewide communities.”
The legislators said they are supportive of the proposed development because it will infuse millions of dollars of private investment into South Providence, contribute to annual tax revenues for the city, provide development and construction trade jobs and generate hundreds of permanent jobs for local residents in Providence.
But, they said, they are “deeply concerned about, and committed to, the future sustainability of the Urban League.”
Senator Metts, Representative Almeida and Councilman Sanchez said they are hopeful a meeting with city and Urban League officials can be arranged sometime within the next two weeks. They said they intend to request that any money from the sale of the Urban League property “remain within our community.”
For more information, contact:
Randall T. Szyba, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903