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Complex offers work and luxury living on Newport waterfront

Four luxury condominiums, two spacious offices and six retail shops soon will give boaters the opportunity to live and perhaps work on the historic waterfront of Newport, R.I. The shingle-style building is under construction on the former Eastern Ice Co. property at 10 Brown and Howard Wharf and is expected to open in February.

The shingle-style building is designed to blend with its historic neighborhood.

Cordtsen Design Architecture, of Newport, designed the 20,000-square-foot building to blend with the neighborhood’s vintage structures. It’s between the International Yacht Restoration School and the Vanderbilt Residences, which were developed by internationally known yachtsman, entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter de Savary.

In planning for five years, the complex meets current zoning and FEMA regulations after zoning appeals delayed it for two years. Mark Bard, of Newport, is the general contractor.

“With its proximity to all the wharfs in Newport, 10 Brown and Howard Wharf is a natural fit for boating industry professionals. We expect the residences will appeal to boaters who want to be part of Newport’s maritime scene,” says Matt Hadfield, of Hogan Associates Real Estate of Middletown, R.I., the marketing agent. “When we first marketed the project, boat brokers, a yacht designer and a marine insurance agency were slated for space. We expect it to be the same this go-around.”

Each two-story townhouse has an open-plan living room, dining area and kitchen, and a master bedroom and 1-1/2 baths on the building’s third floor. One floor below are each condo’s guest sitting room, bedroom and full bath. Each townhouse has a private interior stairway, entrances from halls on both floors and a private rooftop deck.

Sliding glass doors and ample windows provide harbor views.

“We tried to maximize the space for everyone,” Hadfield says. “Having the guest quarters downstairs made the floor plan work.”

Although each floor plan is unique, all have sliding glass doors from the open-plan living area to a balcony with harbor or neighborhood views. Professional-grade appliances, granite countertops and ample cabinetry await gourmet cooks. The largest condo unit has additional amenities that include a master bedroom balcony overlooking the harbor and a separate dressing area.

Condos range from 1,230 to 2,960 square feet, plus two garage parking spots, and are priced from $1.195 million to $1.75 million. Some dockominium slips are available at three adjacent marinas — Brown and Howard Marina, Newport Marina and Newport Onshore Marina.

Each condo unit has a separate high-efficiency heat pump for multi-zone climate control. Annual condo fees, based on square footage, are expected to be $500 to $800 a month. Taxes are computed using 11.36 mills per $1,000 in assessed value.

The townhouses are not accessible from the two offices and restrooms that also share the second floor. The 1,310-square-foot office, with two garage parking spots, is priced at $439,000; the 1,050-square foot office, with one indoor and one outdoor spot, is $385,000.

A breakfast bar separates the kitchen from the living and dining room areas.

The first floor contains one 1,750-square-foot retail shop overlooking the harbor, six others from 825 to 450 square feet, and restrooms. Customers can reach all of the shops from the surrounding exterior composite deck or the elevator in the central hall. The large retail shop with two garage spots is $549,000. The others, each with one garage spot, range from $285,000 to $449,000. “That’s cheaper than renting,” Hadfield says.

Additional outside parking and 20 spaces beneath the building for owners occupy the ground level of the 20,674-square-foot site. Stairs and an elevator connect the parking lot and all three floors, although only residents can access the third floor.

Despite its ethnic and economic diversity, to most boaters Newport means yachting — from the 1844 arrival of the New York Yacht Club and the glory decades of the America’s Cup competitions to arriving and departing international voyagers and racers. Shoreside, maritime attractions vie with Newport’s restored colonial buildings, Gilded Age mansions and quaint streets lined with boutiques, cafes and restaurants.

Lewis Brown and John Howard established their wharf in the late 1800s, when Newport was a thriving fishing center. In 1971 the Rossi family purchased Eastern Ice Co., then located on the wharf, where they produced 60 tons of ice a day.

Private rooftop decks offer expansive views.

In 2007, after tourism supplanted fishing in Newport’s economy, the family sold the property and built a new, modern plant in Fall River, Mass., which produces 170 tons of ice a day.

Now, 10 Brown and Howard is replacing the ice company and adding residences to the traditional maritime establishments on the historic wharf.

Matt Hadfield, owner of Hogan Associates, Middletown, R.I.,, (401) 848-4358, lists the property.

January 2014 issue