Greater City Providence

Rep. Segal reports on a couple bills up in the Assembly

Old Public Safety Complex Demolition

Site of current Old Public Safety Building Memorial Parking Lot

Over on the Dose, Rep. Segal highlights a couple interesting bills:

  • Restoration of the historic tax credits, for projects with a lot of affordable housing. (I’m open to considering expansions, if it miraculously gets moving, but would certainly want it to be tighter than the original version.)
  • Demolition bonds for buildings in historic districts, to forestall further expansion of the surface-lot district.

    David is looking for feedback on the language of these bills, you can comment over on the Dose or comment here and we will forward the feedback to him.

    Links updated, should work now.

    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.


    • Why just historic districts for the demo bonds? Why not for any building that is being demolished? It shouldn’t matter where that building is–a parking lot is not preferred over a building in any case!

    • I would expand the Historic Tax Credits beyond just affordable housing. The Grant in Pawtucket for example has no affordable housing (I think the owners live there). And The Grant would not have been possible without Historic Tax Credits.

    • I agree. I don’t think every historic renovation lends itself to housing, but if it is going to be housing then there should always be an affordable piece to it to get the credit. In fact, if it is a historic reno for business then perhaps a percentage of square footage can be available to small businesses and start ups in RI for a certain amount of time before reverting to (only if there’s no interest, mind you) market rate.

    • I still can’t read the pdf’s…

      That said, I agree with Jef and Jen’s comments so far… If this is a type of effort to get more affordable housing in general, then perhaps a “super credit” can be given for that purpose, with other uses benefitting from a scaled down credit.

      When I think of all of the businesses in all of the historic mill projects I’ve seen (including the business I work for, which is in a renovated historic mill) that wouldn’t necessarily be in Providence at all if not for this type of space, I really think any credit would need to be broader than housing, affordable or otherwise.

    • The HTC program, after all, was first initiated because of the glut of old commercial/industrial buildings in the city, and in the larger metro area. If we can make those buildings viable again, I guess that’s great, but that’s not the only goal here. What we want is to turn those buildings into economic engines again.

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