- The Beginning (1986 – 2005)
- Omni Development Corporation began in 1986 as an affiliate of the Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) of Rhode Island.
In the 1980s, OIC was the state's leading adult training and job placement institution. This organization also fulfilled a need for quality, innovative economic development initiatives aimed at serving persons of low to moderate income, predominantly those classified as racial and ethnic minorities.
Since its founding, Omni has been devoted to the development of safe, quality, affordable housing for individuals and families earning at the lower end of the economic spectrum. Its initial venture, called Friendship Place, transformed a long-standing vacant eyesore into a vibrant community asset that provided six new homes for South Providence families.
In 2004, Omni purchased and restored vacant commercial real estate at 810 Eddy Street in Providence, which currently serves as its headquarters.
From the beginning, Omni's success has been attributable to a clear understanding of the needs of its customers, along with dedication to preserving and restoring many distressed properties of historical significance.
Over the course of its first 20 years, Omni completed the following developments: Friendship Place, Niagara Place, The Governor, Whitmarsh Apartments, Harvard-Broad, Harvard Dartmouth Comstock (HDC), Lockwood Plaza, Olney Towers, Spring Villa, Waterview Apartments and Maple Gardens.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
- The Present (2007 – 2015)
- Today, Omni is regarded as a reliable, proven leader in the state's affordable housing industry. It ranks in the top three producers of units for low-to-moderate income families in Rhode Island over the past two decades. Omni's greatest strength is its proven ability to manage difficult development projects and complete them in a successful manner. It has proven itself especially adept at undertaking projects within challenging urban environments.
Omni has adapted well to dramatic changes in financing and regulatory mechanisms governing the construction and operation of affordable housing. Its reputation in the local housing market remains strong, especially with key network partners such as Rhode Island Housing, the City of Providence, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, HUD, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the Rhode Island Housing Network and the Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission.
In addition to serving the housing needs of low-to-moderate income families, Omni also undertakes developments that are specific to the unique challenges faced by the elderly, the disabled, and chronically homeless U.S. veterans.
Over the past 10 years, the following developments have been completed: Omni Point, Rockland Place, Black Rock Estates, Turning Point I, Cornplanter Row and Phoenix Apartments.
- The Future (2015 - )
- Omni's next decade will be defined by a continued dedication to its primary mission of building and preserving safe, quality, affordable housing to meet the needs of lower-to-moderate income families.
Omni's vision for the future is to become an exceptional steward of both the natural and built environments, dedicated to the wisest possible use of limited energy resources.
One important aspect of the recent Phoenix Apartments development involved a partnership with National Grid - a regional gas and electric utility company. Under National Grid's Deep Energy Retrofit Program, two 3-family buildings were re-constructed to meet the highest standards in energy conservation. Six (6) rental units were retrofitted with extra insulation, triple paned windows and high efficiency boilers, with additional investment made in superior air handling systems.For its commitment to energy conservation, Omni was recently recognized for “outstanding leadership in energy efficient development and neighborhood revitalization” at the 2014 Rhode Island Energy Expo/Home Show. This award was presented by the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, National Grid, the Rhode Island Builders Association and the Rhode Island Congressional delegation.
As of July 2015, the corporation’s portfolio of developments under construction include:
Turning Point II, a 3-story brick and masonry building being renovated to contain 13 units of affordable rental housing for chronically homeless and chronically disabled veterans. Located in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Providence on Convent Street, this circa 1940 structure is in close proximity to the Veterans Administration Medical Center.
1890 House, a mid-rise building containing 52 apartments. Originally constructed in 1905 as a YWCA, it is now undergoing major rehabilitation, bringing these 52 rental units onto the affordable housing market. The 1890 House is conveniently located in downtown Providence, near the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul and Cathedral Square.
Warner Gardens Co-Op Apartments in Waterbury, Connecticut. One hundred twenty two (122) existing units of rental housing will be replaced with an equal number of newly constructed units over the next 3 years. Construction on Phase One (58 units) began in May 2015 and is expected to take 18 months to complete.
Omni will also be developing two additional projects:
The substantial rehabilitation of the Pawtucket Housing Authority’s Prospect Heights housing complex, located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Phase One will consist of upgrades to 101 units, while the balance of 191 units will be rehabbed in Phases Two and Three.
The redevelopment of 38 rental units of in-fill properties within Providence’s West End neighborhood, to be known as Phoenix Renaissance. The development plan consists of the rehabilitation of 28 units and new construction of 10 units. Construction began in July 2015.
- Laurence K. Flynn
- Laurence K. Flynn is a native of Providence, Rhode Island. Mr. Flynn attended Providence Public Schools and Rhode Island College.
He was elected to the Providence City Council in November 1974 and was re-elected in 1978. During his tenure on the Council he served on the Providence Redevelopment Agency and the Providence Water Supply Board. He also served as chairman of the Committee of Public Works and as the Deputy Majority Leader on the City Council.
Mr. Flynn was employed for 28 years with the Wayne Distribution Company as a salesman. He was appointed to the Providence Board of Canvassers in May 1983 and elected its chairman in January 1984 where he served until 2010, making him the longest serving chairman in Providence history.
Mr. Flynn has served intermittently on the Omni board for 6 years and was elected its chairman in December 2011. He is currently employed by the Town of North Providence as its Director of Elections.
- Laurence K. Flynn
Director of Elections, North Providence
- Stephen T. Napolitano, Esq.
- Kathy Placencia
Administrator of Elections, City of Providence Board of Canvassers
- Michael D. Aaronson, CPA
President, Aaronson, Lavoie, Streitfeld, Diaz & Co., PC
- Robert L. Brooks
Hearing Officer, Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles
- Michael R Clement
Retired City Clerk, Providence, Rhode Island
- Hon. Judge Edward Clifton
RI Superior Court, retired
- John W. Lopes
International Longshoremen's Association
- Charles C. Newton
Administrator, MBE Compliance Office, State of Rhode Island
- Barry J. O'Connor, Jr., MPA
Associate Director of Enrollment Services, Community College of Rhode Island
- Thomas F. O'Connor, Jr., Esq.
- Jill Rios
Clerk, City of Providence School Department
- Hon. Scott A. Slater
State Representative, District 10, RI House of Representatives
- Hon. Judge Walter R. Stone
Associate Justice, Rhode Island Superior Court
- Darrell Waldron
Executive Director, Rhode Island Indian Council
- Lawrence E. Brown, CPA
President and CEO
- Mr. Brown has been with Omni for 15 years, previously serving as its Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer. Larry is a graduate of Bryant College (RI) with a degree in business administration, and of Bentley College (MA) with a master of science degree in taxation.
Prior to joining Omni, Larry practiced public as well as private accounting for more than 35 years in both the government and private sectors, including the auditing of commercial and non-profit agencies. He is a member of the Rhode Island Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs.
Mr. Brown has served on numerous boards and commissions over the years, including time as an elected official on the Providence City Council. He now is a director of the Home Loan and Investment Bank, where he is also a member of the Audit Committee.
- C. Robert Springer
Director of Real Estate Development & Asset Management
- Betsy Guerzon
- Brandi Goodwin
- Joseph E. Newsome
Special Projects Consultant