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Debt costs for former I-195 land projected to rise sharply

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island’s debt payments on the land formerly occupied by Interstate 195 in Providence will rise sharply in coming years unless deals to sell the land are closed.

The Providence Journal reports that debt service costs are projected to rise from $850,000 in the current fiscal year to $2.5 million next year as the state starts to pay down the principal of the loan.

For five years, the state has only made interest payments on the $38 million borrowed to acquire the land and transfer it to the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission. State Budget Officer Thomas Mullaney says the aim was to give the commission time to sell the land.

A commission spokeswoman says it has agreements with three developers worth around $15 million, but none have been finalized.

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