Festival Field Apartments

Festival Field Apartments has been sold and plans are already in the works for a major rehabilitation of the property.

The 204-unit Section 8 family apartment property, located at 90 Girard Avenue, was recently acquired by Fairstead for $33.25 million.

Fairstead, a New York-based real estate investor, developer, owner and operator that “specializes in affordable, mixed-income and market-rate housing”, purchased the property from California-based Sage Apartment Communities. As of Thursday morning, Festival Field Apartments were no longer listed as a community on Sage Apartment Communities website.

The acquisition was financed through the issuance of low-income housing tax credits and tax-exempt bonds issued through RIHousing, according to Fairstead.

Fairstead plans on a substantial rehabilitation of the property, according to a statement provided to What’s Up Newp on Thursday.

“Fairstead is planning an extensive property-wide rehabilitation in excess of $17 million, which will include the renovation of all roofs, sidings, windows, and boilers. In addition, 100% of units will receive new kitchens, flooring, cabinets and bathrooms. Fairstead will also be developing new ADA-accessible units and a state-of-the art community center”.

A spokeswoman for Fairstead continued with more information and said that “in one year the property will be transformed” and that renovation will include ” Roofs, siding, doors, windows, landscaping, 100% of kitchens and bathrooms, hallways, energy efficiency, community center, and security”.

“We’re excited to acquire and begin a much needed renovation of Festival Fields Apartments. Our acquisition and complete renovation of the Festival Field Apartments property supports Fairstead’s mission to provide people with a great place to live regardless of income,” said Will Blodgett, Co-Founder and Partner of Fairstead in a statement provided to What’s Up Newp. “Right away, we will commence an $85,000 per unit renovation that will bring quality, affordable housing to this community. Fairstead believes it’s more important than ever to preserve and enrich communities such as Festival Field Apartments as we continue our commitment to developing and preserving exceptional affordable housing nationwide.” 

According to Fairstead’s website, “Fairstead specializes in the creation and preservation of quality, affordable multifamily housing”.

“The need and demand for affordable rental housing is strong in Newport, where 60% of the city’s residents are renters,” said Carol Ventura, Executive Director of RIHousing in a statement provided to What’s Up Newp from Fairstead. “The rehabilitation of Festival Field Apartments ensures these rental homes remain affordable, safe and healthy for residents for years to come and helps strengthen previous investments made in the North End of Newport.” 

The company writes on their website that they have 11,500+ multifamily units, and 300+ employees, in 14 states.

According to city records, FF Apartments LLC purchased the property from Oklahoma Newport Limited Partnership on December 24, 2012 for $31 million. On March 9th, 2001, Oklahoma Newport Limited Partnership purchased the property from Field Assoc LTD Partnership for $7.2 million.

In 2018, the property had a valuation assessment of $14,963,800, according to city records.

What’s Up Newp reached out to Sage Communities for comment. At publishing time, the company had not responded.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...