Updated March 5 at 1:05pm

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real estate

JWU purchases Clifford St. building for $2.8M

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PROVIDENCE – Johnson & Wales University has purchased a building in Providence’s former Jewelry District to become the future home of a new physician’s assistant program.

The two-story brick building at 157 Clifford St. was sold Oct. 11 for $2.8 million, said Mike Giuttari, president of MG Commercial Real Estate, which brokered the transaction.

The sale is another step in the neighborhood’s evolution from a center of the jewelry industry into a focal point of the Rhode Island medical and education sector.

The seller was Robert Moretti, whose jewelry business the Clayton Company Inc. had been in the building since it was constructed in the 1950s, Giuttari said.

Johnson & Wales could not be immediately reached for comment.

Classes in the Johnson & Wales physician assistant program are slated to start in the summer of 2014 and the university had been looking all year at the 18,000- square-foot Clifford Street building, which abuts the former Interstate 195 land.

The new physician assistant building is one of up to eight buildings in Johnson & Wales’ long-term plan for expanding its downtown Providence campus.

Last week Johnson & Wales broke ground on a new Richmond Street parking garage.

JWU, johnson & Wales university, rhode island, jewlery district, providence, 157 clifford st., giuttari, robert moretti, clayton company inc.

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