Greater City Providence

Vaporscraper: “First spark of a development boom”

Four years ago today, the Providence Journal reported on what was to become, Rhode Island’s tallest building, OneTen Westminster Street.


Rendering of OneTen Westminster Street as proposed in 2005.

The Mayor was quoted as saying that OneTen would be a “first spark of a development boom.” And it was, in that time we’ve seen the development of GTECH, the Waterplace Condos, the Westin Residences, Capitol Cove, 333 Atwells Avenue, ALCO, RISD’s Chase Center and numerous other developments and renovations both large and small. We just never saw the development of OneTen Westminster.

Over the years, a number of buildings were torn down, approvals were given for OneTen to be developed, as proposed it grew to 520 feet, the tallest building in RI and the tallest residential building in New England (if you are into size competitions), a hotel component was added (rumored to be a W), the project was scaled back…

90 Westminster

Today we sit with a vacant lot on in the Financial District and a facade supported by steel beams on Weybosset Street. Last word is W still wants to open on the site, but is “working on financing.” I imagine that’s going slowly at this point.

Someday something will be built here, but as we’re seeing in the financial and real estate markets, Providence’s eyes were probably a little bigger than it’s belly when it came to supporting a 520 foot luxury condo in 2005. It would have been a damn cool building though.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • Wow, I’m shocked this post didn’t get a single comment… On other discussion boards, 110 generated a legion of posts… It shows how bad things have gotten right now… I don’t think anyone cares about this site at the moment…

  • I think there were also a lot of people who didn’t see this project as something Providence could support to begin with, so they don’t really care that it’s on hold. As for the rest of us, well, I think we’re all too busy worrying about the underlying structural problems of the city’s/state’s/nation’s economy to worry about what’s going on with this specific project. I think it’s healthy.

  • I was dying for to happen back when UrbanPlanet was big 🙁 I have hope still

    state motto 😉

  • Well, it’s a full dozen years later since the “110 Westminster Street” condo-hotel-retail project was first conceived by (I believe) Boston Blue Chip Properties, and I believe it needs to be revived.

    Remember, this proposal came out just before the last Wall Street/real estate crash of 2007-8. Now it’s time to give it it’s second wind by persuading our good old friend, NYC developer Jason Fane, to build his “Hope Tower” condo further upstream, on this site.

    This also may very well be the only way to spur the resurrection of Providence’s true iconic architectural structure, the old Industrial National Bank (a.k.a. Superman building).

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