At the edge of the Providence business district, off the Atwells Avenue exit of
Interstate 95 at One Regency Plaza on Broadway, lies the Regency Plaza. The Regency has
quietly become one of Rhode Island's premier luxury residential developments, due to three
factors: a prime Providence location, diverse services and recognition of its residents'
In addition, the Regency is building a new constituency by adding business tenants to its clientele. And, for those seeking a full-service office environment without the cost, the Regency offers fully furnished and serviced executive office space.
"Empty-nesters and professional people who live in the city and walk to work comprise most of the residents at the Regency," says Richard Lappin, property manager. "Many tenants are long-time residents who value the 24-hour security and are looking for convenience."
The Civic Center, the Rhode Island Convention Center and the Westin Hotel are convenient city destinations. The proposed downtown Providence Place Mall promises additional nearby shopping at major department stores.
To the east, the Regency is only a city block from Westminster Mall -- which connects to the Financial District -- and a few minutes' walk to downtown stores and offices.
The Regency complex is composed of 444 apartments, 35,335 square feet of commercial space, and parking for 444 cars.
"Location and service are important," said Lappin. "But we go the extra mile for residents. We have a staff that tries to respond to people's needs and to what they want." Catered lunches are served on the premises, and residents who are hosting a private gathering may reserve the community room and adjacent kitchen area.
Entry ways provide a service desk and a separate residents' locked entry in the lobby o reach elevators. The complex also offers a 24-hour staff of 20 people.
The property's residences, many with views of the state Capitol and the Providence skyline, range from studios to one- and two-bedroom units. Some have received marble entries and all units are carpeted throughout. Tiled kitchens contain white-on-white fixtures and include a dishwasher and microwave oven as part of the appliances. Suites also are available.
For those who need a temporary, secure home, 45 furnished, short-term rentals are also available. The rentals are available to corporations for use by employees.
Permanent residents may select furnished or unfurnished apartments. They may also arrange on-premises accommodations for guests.
Some of the commercial tenants at the Regency include a dentist, a convenience market, a hairdresser, a barber shop and an investment management firm. New executive offices are available, with secretarial assistance, conference room, and fax and copier access.
Lectures, health programs, and organized outings such as trips to the Foxwoods Casino or to a nearby show in Providence are a few of the programs at the Regency. Management intends to maintain the campus-like atmosphere, a sense of community and a focus on continuity among the three buildings.
Although management works to encourage a sense of community, it recognizes that not everyone is drawn to group activities. On the other hand, if a person prefers his or her privacy, Lappin says the Regency respects that, as well. "We foster that alternative," he says.
The complex now known as the Regency Plaza began life when the three 12-story buildings were built between 1968 and 1974 in a joint venture by Reynolds Metals and Gilbane Building Co. as part of the Weybosset Hill urban renewal project. In 1986, Chestnut Hill Realty Corp. of Brookline, Mass. and Lisco Development acquired the property. Since then, the companies have added more than $6 million of improvements to the heating systems, the air-conditioning systems, apartments, lobbies, management office, public corridors, roofs, and the security systems.
The owners purchased portions of Fountain Street and Jackson Walkway which intersect the site so that the complex can function as one residential campus of three buildings.
Edward Zuker, president of Chestnut Hill Realty Corp., and his management team, including Peter Poras, the chief financial office; George McHugh, director of property development; and Michael Bryon, director of marketing, set the company's direction.
Chestnut Hill Realty owns and manages more than 3,000 apartments in New England, including Bayview Estates, a 130-apartment complex in Portsmouth, R.I.
A fitness center is planned for the complex. Lappin said it is in response to residents' needs and an example of the Regency's attention to what residents wants. Residents will be able to participate in organized fitness programs or on an individual basis.
"There is an ongoing capital improvement program, including remodeling of apartments, upgrading building systems, replacing cooling towers, and roof and energy improvements," said Lappin.
Plans for landscaping improvements and an enhanced entry to the site from Washington Street are under way.
Chestnut Hill Realty Corp. looks to expand its successful formula to other properties in the future. "We are always looking for additional acquisitions and management and development opportunities," Lappin said.