Residents, Property Owner and Manager Fairstead and Government Officials Came Together at the Former Festival Field Apartments to Celebrate Recently-Completed Renovations with a Ribbon Cutting
NEWPORT, R.I. (October 31, 2023) – Fairstead, a purpose-driven, vertically integrated real estate company committed to sustainable development and the creation and preservation of high-quality housing, hosted a community day and ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday at Sunset Hill, in celebration of recently completed renovations and renaming of the development, which was announced to residents at the event.
Sunset Hill, a 204-unit affordable housing development previously known as Festival Field and owned and managed by Fairstead, recently completed an 18-month major renovation. This project included the installation of new kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, windows, programmable thermostats, laundry units to all apartments, a modern security system, and the upgrade of several units to meet UFAS, HVI and ADA accessibility standards. Extensive renovations were also made to community spaces, including the installation of a new playground, additional exterior lighting, and the conversion of the communal laundry room to a residential community room. New site-wide paint, siding, and landscaping helped to refresh the community.
More than 100 residents attended the event, where they enjoyed a range of family-friendly activities and entertainment, including music, face painting and pumpkin carving. Attendees also enjoyed a barbeque-style dinner from Scratch Kitchen & Catering. The Potter League for Animals and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center also provided resources to get involved or donate.
“This is a monumental day for the Sunset Hill community, and we at Fairstead are honored to contribute to this transformation,” said Noah Hale, Managing Director, Development, Fairstead. “The extensive renovations of the units and the addition of new community amenities would not have been possible without our partners and residents, who have played a pivotal role in shaping the future of this community.”
“The preservation and renovation of 204 affordable housing units in Newport is a huge victory amid a major housing crisis in our community and in our state,” said Rhode Island State Senator Dawn Euer. “The condition of the individual units and the property before this renovation was offensive and an embarrassment. I’m grateful for the investment from RI Housing and the commitment from Fairstead in not only preserving these units, but in also making key improvements to the property. Everyone deserves affordable, healthy, and safe housing and these improvements create that reality for 204 more families.”
“Newport is comprised of the people that live within this community, who work every single day to ensure that we are taking care of our future,” said Newport Mayor Xay Khamsyvoravong. “When you look at the decline of affordable housing across the state, Newport is trending in the opposite direction. We lead the state in affordable housing per capita, and it’s thanks to the investments and organizations like Fairstead and supportive partners like Rhode Island Housing that make it happen.”
“Rhode Island needs to build more affordable housing – but we also need to preserve the affordable housing that we already have,” said Carol Ventura, CEO of RIHousing. “RIHousing is proud to have provided critical funding towards the preservation of these homes. We celebrate the renaming of Sunset Hill, a revitalized development that reflects the ongoing investments in accessible, affordable housing in Newport.”
Fairstead acquired the former Festival Field apartments in February 2020.