PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Atlantic Mills building in the Olneyville neighborhood has a long history in the capital city.
It’s currently home to more than 100 tenants and vendors, according to a city spokesperson.
But the Providence Redevelopment Agency recently set its sights on the historic building, leaving tenants like Omar Bader, owner of Omar & Olneyville Discount Furniture, concerned for the future.
“[Mayor Brett Smiley] has stated that they don’t plan on kicking us out,” Bader said.
The Providence Development Agency entered into a purchase agreement earlier this month, which gives them the option to either buy it outright or pursue a partnership for redevelopment.
The agency is now seeking out potential partners that could help preserve and upgrade the space, all while keeping the current tenants.
But Bader is worried by the potential plans for the building, even if it only includes fixing it up.
“If there are construction crews here … how are we going to conduct business?” he said.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Atlantic Mills tells 12 News the building holds a thriving economy that he “…would personally hate to see changed in any way.”
Bader said he does not want to find a new home for his furniture store, adding that he has a steady business where he’s currently located.
“Just save our jobs, that’s all we are asking,” he said.
The city has not released a timeline as to when the building could be redeveloped, adding that the plan is still in the early stages.