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A Hummel Report Investigation

Unfinished Business

A leading candidate for mayor of Providence has some unfinished business with the city - literally. He and several partners took out a business loan from the city in 1987 to help launch a downtown condominium project. That loan is still largely unpaid - even though the candidate has poured more than a quarter of a million dollars of his own money into the campaign for mayor. See what he tells Jim Hummel about the loan.

To watch our 2012 report on the PEDP loans, Mopping Up, click here.

SCRIPT

Michael Solomon is wearing several hats these days: Providence City Council president, candidate for mayor…and veteran businessman, a job Solomon had long before he got into politics.
Solomon’s most high-profile business is Wes’s Rib House in Olneyville. He also owns a catering company off Mount Pleasant Avenue. But it’s a business project in this building on Westminster Street where Solomon is a part-owner that has been his most challenging.
With the campaign for mayor in full swing, Solomon is once again answering questions about a business loan he and several partners took out from the city of Providence 27 years ago. A loan that is still largely unpaid.
Solomon: ``That loan did what it set out to do: create jobs, promote economic development and downtown living. And we continue to pay on it, it’s current and as I said before, I have not realized a cent from that project.’’
The loan was to develop condos at the Conrad building and it sounded like a promising project in 1987. Solomon and his partners received a $500,000 loan from what was then known as the Providence Economic Development Commission. They also arranged $3.5 million in private financing. Several years later they took out an additional $100,000 from the city.

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