Citizens Bank commercial space in East Providence seeking state offices • Rhode Island Current

The Rhode Island Department of Administration wants to acquire a 210,000-square-foot building in East Providence from Citizens Bank for use as a state office.

Built in 1979, the property at 115 Tripps Lane in the Riverside section of East Providence includes a 60,000-square-foot state-of-the-art data center that makes it “uniquely attractive for a long-term investment for state use,” according to a 2025 budget amendment Gov. Dan McKee submitted to the General Assembly.

McKee is asking for $33.67 million to finance the purchase. The list price was $27 million, Director of Administration Jonathan Womer told the Senate Finance Committee during a hearing at the State House on Tuesday. Womer said government officials became interested in the building last fall. The State Properties Committee authorized negotiations to begin last month.

The City of East Providence values ​​the property at $16.94 million.

The House Finance Committee will consider the proposal when it comes together Thursday at 4:00 PM

An online listing shows the building is vacant, but a Citizens spokesperson said the bank has 600 employees working from the space in operations and a mix of different roles, up from 900 before the pandemic.

“The building has been for sale for two years and our agent has shown the property to several potential buyers,” said Rory Sheehan, head of corporate communications for Citizens, said in an email Tuesday.

“Since the pandemic, workforce trends have accelerated and more Citizen colleagues are engaging in flexible work. Given these ongoing trends, we continue to assess the space needs at properties in our footprint. In the event of a sale, colleagues assigned to the Tripps Lane building will be assigned to our Johnston campus.”

The Johnston campus opened in 2018.

The building is intended to house various government agencies that now rent space or occupy outdated buildings elsewhere. Department of Administration spokesperson Christina O’Reilly said discussions are taking place with the Department of Environmental Management, the Department of Enterprise Technology Strategy and Services, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Human Services.

“The building can accommodate a number of different users depending on their operational needs. The first round of potential users was determined by comparing an agency’s current footprint, usage and occupancy costs with the capabilities offered by Tripps Lane,” said O’Reilly.

The proposed budget resolution acknowledges the significant price tag, but states that the investment would be offset by the termination of expensive leases and the costs of relocating government agencies to maintain and renovate their spaces.

“The savings over time associated with this property make financing an economically efficient option,” the resolution said.

The total costs would be financed by issuing certificates of participation with a term of up to 10 years. Total debt service on the state’s obligation is expected to be no more than $44.5 million, based on an estimated average interest rate of 5.50%.

House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio have yet to support McKee’s amended budget, one of 19 introduced so far.

“The President and Chairman of the Senate will wait for the hearings to take place and will consult with the respective chairs before taking a position on the bill,” said a joint email from House Speaker Larry Berman and spokesman for the Senate. Senate Greg. Pare.

This story has been updated.