Greater City Providence

Vaporscraper: Imperial Place


Rendering from Churchill and Banks

It’s hard to know how close this project ever came to reality, but anything remotely like it in this economic climate seems impossibly far off…

What was it?:

The Churchill and Banks website calls the building’s use “undecided,” but initial thoughs were for a 137,000 sf complex adjacent to Lifespan’s headquarters (well, adjacent to their garage, anyway). Said the website:

“Adding to the site’s attractiveness for a wide variety of development options is the imminent opening of the new bridge and I-95 overpass that will re-connect the city’s south side and sprawling RI Hospital complex to the jewelry district and neighboring riverfront.”

What has happened?:

Absolutely nothing.

What was the potential?:

The Jewelry District has for some time been considered to be on a long (slow) upward trajectory, and the C&B website seemingly correctly detailed the location’s potential. The rendering showed ground floor retail, which the Jewelry District sorely needs, and given the number of surrounding workers, that location seemed as good as any at an attempt. With a new Brown Medical School then building proposed nearby (since canceled) and potentially stunning west-looking sunset views, it seemed a great idea.

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What does the developer say?:

Churchill and Banks said that like their moribund Green Street Townhouses, this project too is, “on hold” No time frame yet, but not “indefinitely.”

What could help?:

Given the current economy, probably absolutely nothing. Brown is now the biggest player in the Jewelry District, and they’re in a major retrenchment mode, so things are likely to stay quiet at that vacant site for quite some time…

Bret Ancowitz

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