Rhode Island seeks new use for Shepard Building

This is a photo of the Shepard Building in Providence. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Rhode Island Department of Administration issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the future use of the Shepard Building in Providence.

Unlike a Request for Proposals (RFP), which results in a contractual agreement, an RFI is non-binding and is often used to gather input from experts.

The property at 259 Westminster St. was recently appraised at more than $10 million.

The building is currently a University of Rhode Island-run child development center and an office space for the Department of Education.

Department of Administration said the tenants have been assured that if the building is put up for sale, the timeline to vacate the property would not impact the school year.

James Thorsen, Department of Administration director, said URI plans to lease a more appropriate space for its operations.

The Department of Education has also requested to lease space at another location.

The downtown landmark stands six-stories tall and formerly served as a department store but has since been under state ownership since 1954.

“We are committed to finding the best use for this property, whether that be residential, retail, research, commercial, a combination of those options, or a public-private partnership,” said Thorsen.

Those interested can submit ideas for possible future uses of the Shepard Building at this link.

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