The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation unanimously authorized a maximum of $2.2 million in Rebuild Rhode Island tax credits to close a financing gap for the planned development.

“This would help [Farm Fresh RI] move closer to realizing their long-held vision of a food hub on the West End of Providence that would serve as sort of a nexus for their food and farm related businesses” Commerce Corporation spokesperson Brian Hodge said. Following the decision, Farm Fresh RI co-executive director Jesse Rye added, “We are happy with the outcome of tonight's board vote. Support from the RI Commerce Corporation brings Farm Fresh Rhode Island one big step closer to our goal of constructing a new home for our organization.”

Farm Fresh RI purchased the 498 Kinsley Ave. property in 2017, following a fire two years earlier.  The organization plans to build a 60,000 square foot headquarters on the site, with completion scheduled for 2020. The facility is also set to house retail and wholesale distributors, along with a year-round farmers market.

Commerce Corporation spokesperson Brian Hodge says the project is one of several underway in the industrial Valley Street corridor.

“Valley Street and the Woonasquatucket River Corridor is under really increased redevelopment,” Hodge said. “You know, it’s not far from the Waterfire Arts Center. It’s not far from brand new lofts that have been redeveloped. United Natural Foods, Inc. has a headquarters here, and they’re expanding.”

Not to mention new greenhouses under construction down the street at 586 Atwells Ave. That 95,000 square foot facility is being developed by New York-based company Gotham Greens to grow lettuce, and the project also received Rebuild Rhode Island tax credits.