PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — State officials gathered at the site of the Wexford Innovation Complex Tuesday to celebrate the completion of the steel framing for the building.
The $88-million complex is being built on former I-195 land and is expected to be completed in 2019. Officials said the complex – which is receiving significant taxpayer subsidies – should generate approximately $100 million in additional revenue for Rhode Island over the next 20 years.
“For too long, the I-195 land was vacant,” Gov. Gina Raimondo said. “Today marks the continuation of something transformational. Not just for this land, but for our state and its economy.”
At the celebration, the last beam of the structure was signed by several officials, lifted to the top of the steel frame and bolted in, signifying the completion of the frame. Eyewitness News attended the groundbreaking ceremony back in September.
“This project is transforming not only the city’s skyline, but our culture of innovation as well,” Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said in a statement. “We’ve seen an explosion of recent development in the Capital City because investors believe in our city’s future. We’re excited to see this project coming along so well.”
The first tenants in the Wexford facility will include Brown University, Johnson & Johnson and the Cambridge Innovation Center.
“We are thrilled at this milestone in the project and are eager to open the project and strengthen innovation in Rhode Island,” Cambridge Innovation Center President Tim Rowe said.
While work continues on the complex, the plot where the hotel is supposed to be built remains undeveloped. I-195 Redevelopment District Commissioner Bob Davis said the effort to begin building the hotel is ongoing.
“The developer is still trying to finalize his financing,” Davis said. “I’m hopeful we may see some groundbreaking there in the next few months.”
“I think the hotel will happen,” Raimondo said. “We’re getting closer to making that happen. Every step makes the next step easier.”