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Historic Providence High-Rise Sold to Well-Known RI Developer

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence’s historic “Amica Building” officially has a new owner.

Paolino Properties announced Monday that it has purchased the Weybosset Street high-rise from Bliss Properties.

The 10-story building, which used to be home to Amica’s headquarters, was built back in 1896 and is commonly referred to as Rhode Island’s first skyscraper.

The commercial high-rise is situated at the corner of Weybosset and Exchange streets, which is within the Downtown Providence Historic District.

Paolino Properties purchased the building, as well as its adjacent parking lots, from Bliss Properties for $12 million on Tuesday.

“The pandemic has reshaped the landscape of downtowns, not only in Providence but across the
nation. This has spurred us to seek out ways to enrich the vitality of the city,” Paolino Properties CEO Joseph Paolino Jr. explained.

Paolino said the building “holds immense historical importance for downtown Providence” and is “a symbol of innovation and progress.”

“We look forward to revitalizing this landmark and infusing it with the same energy and vibrancy it exuded in its early days,” Paolino said.

Prior to the sale, Bliss Properties President and CEO Gary Bliss Garabedian said his family owned the commercial high-rise for nearly three decades.

Garabedian said the decision to sell the building to Paolino Properties was made after careful consideration.

“We have a tremendous amount of confidence in the growth of Providence,” Garabedian said. “We are incredibly optimistic about the future of 10 Weybosset Street as it begins to operate under Paolino Properties.”

Garabedian said he wishes Paolino nothing but the best on this new venture.

“Our families share a deep-rooted connection spanning generations, with a rich history of buying and selling properties to one another, fueled by our mutual love for Providence,” Garabedian said. “We are confident that the building is in the great hands of another family-owned business.”

The building is currently home to several commercial tenants, including Washington Trust, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Roberts, Carroll, Feldstein & Peirce.

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