2014-03-27 / Front Page

Old bank building sold to Alex and Ani owner

By Tim Riel


The old Bank of America building on Narragansett Avenue was bought last week by Carolyn Rafaelian, founder of Alex and Ani. 
Photo by Jeff McDonough The old Bank of America building on Narragansett Avenue was bought last week by Carolyn Rafaelian, founder of Alex and Ani. Photo by Jeff McDonough The chain-link fence is gone, and a sold sign is posted at the building that formerly housed the Bank of America branch office at 29 Narragansett Ave.

Carolyn Rafaelian purchased the commercial lot from Peter Ceppi on March 19 for $650,000. Rafaelian, who is the founder of jewelry producer Alex and Ani, purchased the property under Jtown Main Street LLC. The 47-year-old de- signer is connected to Jamestown; she has a home on the island.

Shahin Burzin, an architect hired by Rafaelian, spoke about the purchase. He said the decision to purchase 29 Narragansett Ave. was a personal investment, and it had nothing to do with Rafaelian’s iconic jewelry business headquartered in Cranston.

“Carolyn loves the town,” said Burzin, whose architectural design firm is located in town. “When the opportunity came up, and with the location of the building, she thought it would be a nice investment.”

Burzin says he plans to speak with Town Planner Lisa Bryer sometime in the future to discuss possible projects. There are no concrete plans, but Rafaelian is excited to use the lot in a way that is a good fit for the village, he says.

“Our main concept is to use it in a way that is beneficial to the town. It’s a nice location. Hopefully we can contribute to the downtown feel.”

Barzin said he may approach the Town Council for direction. Plans, however, are in the beginning phases.

“We want to do something that will help promote the village,” he said.

A local project of Barzin’s is the EPI building on Clinton Avenue. The 2,900-square-foot gableroofed structure was built in association with Town Councilor Mary Meagher’s design firm.

The recently purchased property at 29 Narragansett Ave. was appraised at $724,500 in 2012.

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