A brief interlude about Armory Revival Company

Friday, May 25, just before Memorial Day, Jen gets one of the biggest surprises of her professional life.

The next day, the 26th, we were to sign a lease for a charming 2-bedroom apartment on Westminster St., in Providence, two blocks from our apartment on Sycamore. That might have been one of the easiest moves of our life.

Instead, we kept our appointment, and we told our leasing agent that we suddenly had other plans.

Our cute little place on Westminster, the place a parallel-universe version of ourselves might have landed …

That was through the Armory Revival Company. I want to talk about our experiences with Armory for a few minutes.

Armory Revival is in the business of buying up properties in “distressed and deteriorating neighborhoods,” refurbing those properties, and increasing the quality of life in those neighborhoods. I’m sure that, as businesspeople, they also want to increase the property values of these houses and neighborhoods, but that’s just smart business.

When we moved to Providence in 2008, we looked at some of Armory’s properties. We liked everything we saw. Our choice not to rent with them in 2008 had nothing to do with the properties.

Armory’s renos are excellent, keeping the historic feel of the buildings (most of which are over 100 years old) but still providing modern touches. The exteriors of every space we saw, in 2008 and four years later, were spotless. The common spaces inside were always clean and very well kept. Armory puts a lot of work and a lot of pride into its pr0perties.

I often felt that Rhode Island was a reactionary place, in many ways, unable to step away from old and broken ways of doing business, governing, and providing social networks for its citizens, especially its minorities. So whenever I saw true progressives in Rhode Island, I always appreciated what they were doing, especially because I felt they were swimming very hard upstream against strong currents. Armory’s right there, truly improving Providence, and making its neighborhoods better places for everyone who lives there, whether an Armory client or not.

Armory worked hard to guide us to the right place for a couple with a baby. When they had a property they thought wasn’t right, they pointed us to another, for the same price, in the same area. No gain for them, just gain for us.

So when we decided we couldn’t just end this with a phone call or a text message, it was because were so impressed with their honesty and candor, we felt we needed to step up and provide the same.

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