The Team at Cornish

Arnold B. Chace Jr.

Arnold Buffum Chace, Jr., known to the community as Buff, is a real estate developer, preservationist, conservationist and community activist whose vision helped spur a transformation of Downtown Providence in the 1990’s that continues today. 

With more than 30 years of experience as an investor, developer, financial advisor, and urban planner, Buff brings a wide-range of knowledge and understanding to the art of place-making.

He currently serves as the founder and managing partner of Cornish Associates, the developer and manager of twelve unique and treasured historic buildings that make up the Westminster Street Lofts in downtown Providence. Buff’s efforts to revitalize Providence continued with the repurposing of the first floor of the Biltmore Garage into attractive shops and restaurants. He also partnered with Nordblom Company, a Boston developer, to purchase The Providence Journal building on Fountain Street to update the once-dated interior to attract high quality business tenants. The partnership has constructed the Nightingale, a six-story apartment building with more than 143 apartments. Together, Buff’s projects helped create a vibrant downtown neighborhood.

Buff is also the managing general partner of Mashpee Commons, L.P. in Cape Cod. Originally given the responsibility of managing the disposition of New Seabury Shopping Center in Mashpee, MA, Buff instead led the repositioning of this property into the award-winning Mashpee Commons, a thriving mixed-use town center based on the traditional development patterns of historic New England towns.

Buff was raised on Providence’s East Side and spent many summer weeks in Cape Cod. Buff enrolled in the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, to become a writer and later found himself in Cambridge, Massachusetts producing documentary films.

Buff returned to Providence in 1985. His efforts to reimagine the downtown area began when a block of buildings behind City Hall were being auctioned. Buff worked with partners to purchase these vacant buildings, save them from demolition, and embark on a journey that would transform them into attractive and vibrant structures, providing space for housing, restaurants, office and retail, and arts and cultural venues.

Buff’s vision for a thriving downtown Providence and belief in the power of collaboration has transformed an area of blighted buildings into businesses and residences and a true neighborhood. This work has attracted visitors from across the country, encouraged people to move in from bigger cities and inspired others to build in Providence. Passionate about downtown Providence as not just an investor and neighborhood builder, but as a community resident, Buff sees the infinite potential in Providence as a thriving and attractive 21st century city.

Buff’s effort to revitalize the city have extended to service on various boards and commissions. He served as Chairman of the Board of Trinity Repertory Company for ten years and, in that capacity, led a sizeable and successful capital campaign to reinvigorate the organization. He also has served as Chairman of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy, is a member of the governing board of The Providence Foundation, was a founding member of Grow Smart RI, served on the board of the Providence Preservation Society and is a fellow of the National Congress for New Urbanism. Most recently, Buff helped found the Providence Resiliency Partnership, which he chairs, to identify, plan and address the effects of climate change on Providence and its infrastructure.

Buff’s love for the City of Providence has translated into a lifetime of commitment to its revitalization and the creation of partnerships to ensure that these efforts continue. He now joins three illustrious ancestors, Arnold Buffum, Elizabeth Buffum Chace and Elizabeth (Chace) Wyman in the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. He has four wonderful children; Sarah, Ben, Nathaniel and the late Lilly and five smart and fun grandchildren whom he enjoys.

Buff’s vision for a thriving downtown Providence and belief in the power of collaboration has transformed an area of blighted buildings into businesses and residences and a true neighborhood.

Kimberly Haskins

Kimberly, a CPA from Chicago, joined Cornish in 2005 as the controller. She oversees the accounting, financial reporting and cash management of Cornish and all of its Downtown Providence properties. Often behind the scenes, Kimberly has been a constant cheerleader for the revitalization of Downtown.

Joanna Levitt

Joanna joined Cornish Associates in 2007 as the director of commercial leasing and marketing. Working with retailers and restaurateurs, Joanna is responsible for tenanting Cornish’s commercial properties in Downtown Providence, as well as managing the co-operative neighborhood marketing group InDowncity. As part of activating the Downtown neighborhood, Joanna organizes large-scale festivals and events.

A Providence native, Joanna moved to New York City to attend New York University, but returned to Providence to later attend Brown University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern Culture and Media Studies.

Alex Miller

Alex joined Cornish Associates as a Director in February of 2023. Prior to joining Cornish, Alex worked as the Chief Operating Officer for the City of Providence, led government relations and communications for DC-based Placemakr (previously WhyHotel), and served as a senior advisor to former Congressman David Cicilline.

Alex holds a B.A. in Psychology from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

Jason Bouchard-Nawrocki

Jason joined Cornish in 2014 in the accounting division. Jason handles the payroll, payables, and billing for Cornish and its Downtown Providence properties.

A native of central Connecticut, Jason received a Bachelor of Science degree in Historic Preservation from Roger Williams University in 2004. Since then, he has developed a diverse career in retail, tourism, and hospitality management for several well-known businesses and institutions in Rhode Island. Outside of the office, Jason resides in Fall River, Massachusetts with his husband Greg, and stepson Simon. He currently chairs the Fall River Historical Commission and serves on the board of directors for the New England Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Tammy Reese

Tammy, a CPA, joined Cornish in 2014 as the assistant controller. She has over fifteen years of accounting experience, which has primarily been in public accounting as an auditor. Tammy prepares the monthly financial statements and assists with the daily accounting, financial reporting and cash management of Cornish and all of its Downtown Providence properties.

A native Oregonian, Tammy has lived in all four corners of the U.S. and has lived in Rhode Island now for over 10 years. She enjoys watching Providence continue to grow and become a greater city year after year. Tammy is an advocate for several local non-profit organizations and is passionate about health and wellness.

Abigail Clarkin

Abigail joined Cornish in 2021 as the community affairs and social media manager for InDowncity. She previously worked in communications and marketing for The Prout School and the Louttit Library, including building and cultivating the social media presences for both. In 2018, Abigail graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Inside and outside of work, she can be found searching for delicious food and taking photos.

Noël Lefebvre

Noël joined Cornish in the winter of 2022 as the executive assistant. She manages schedules, coordinates events, and provides general office administration. Previously, she worked for Hall Construction Co., Inc. where she managed payroll and human resources. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from New York University and Master of Arts in Art Education from the Rhode Island School of Design. A swimmer and kayaker, Noël enjoys exploring Rhode Island’s waterways and is passionate about the health of the watersheds. She resides in Downtown Providence with her Bernedoodle Luna.

46 Aborn Street Providence, RI 02903
(401) 421-0254