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Owners of Superman Building pledge to pay back taxes

August 3, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The owners of Providence’s so-called Superman Building avoided a scheduled tax sale of the vacant landmark by agreeing to pay nearly $450,000 in back taxes to the city, a spokesperson for Mayor Jorge Elorza said Monday.

High Rock Westminster Street LLC contacted the city and promised to pay the taxes when word got out that the state’s tallest building was on a list of properties facing a possible change of ownership if someone else paid the back taxes, spokesperson Ben Smith told The Providence Journal.

High Rock had been in tax delinquency for a year, Smith said. In a tax sale, anyone can step forward and pay the outstanding taxes. If the property owner doesn’t repay that debt within a year, title to the property goes to the person who paid the taxes, Smith said.

A High Rock spokesperson blamed nonpayment on an “error.”

“Due to an internal error, the subject tax payment was not made in a timely manner,” Bill Fischer said in an emailed statement. “The payment will be made this week. High Rock apologizes to the city for any inconvenience caused by this oversight.”

At around 430 feet (130 meters), it is called the Superman Building because it resembles the Daily Planet headquarters in the old “Adventures of Superman” TV show. It has been vacant since 2013.