Greater City Providence

RUMOR du jour

This is a rumor. We have not heard anything on this from anyone directly involved, only rumors and speculation on the streets of Providence. This is posted for comment and speculation and should not be taken as a statement of fact.

A rumor has been heard on the streets of Providence that the Capitol Cove Condominiums in Capital Center might become Johnson & Wales dormitories. No one from Greater City Providence has heard anything directly from the City, the University, or the Developer.

Earlier this year, a rumor was floating around the ProJo Newsroom that Johnson & Wales was interested in buying the ProJo Headquarters on Fountain Street for a dorm as well.

So the rumors have been all over the map on J&W. What do you think about these rumors? Discuss.

UPDATE: A representative from Johnson & Wales University states that they have no public announcements concerning student housing.

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  • Another J&W rumor out there is them buying Providence Place. I think they got out of the mall business when they sold the Arcade.

  • There was an article in the Johnson & Wales Campus Herald Newspaper that boldly stated that Capitol Cove WILL now be the new residence halls, deemed “The Cove,” and there has already been tours for the students that have the opportunity to move it. Also, room selection has been done and The Cove was an option.

  • There should be a law against JW buying the mall, after they ruined the arcade.

    Also, did the City give the Capitol Cove people any kind of money? Because I for one would like to see that money back if they are selling the building to be dorms (and thus off the tax rolls?) How in the world does this fit into the Institutional Master Plan!?

  • I was speaking with Mr. Jef earlier and I don’t understand why a) JWU can’t concentrate on building up their area of town – how about building a dorm on a parking lot in the parking lot distrcit, but more importantly, why have we gone from $350K+ condos to a dorm? How about trying to sell the condos for a reasonable price for 750 s.f. in Providence? I have plenty of friends that would have considered in the $150-$200K range. Can we not have some sanity in terms of building “super luxury” residences? How about building some “real people can live here” residences?

    I think JWU does a lot for the city so I’m not anti them, so to speak. I just think this was a great opportunity to help build community in Capital Center that has now gone by the wayside.

    PS is this the more substantial form of the earlier rumor that Brown was going to take one of the Waterplace towers for student residences, or is that still an active rumor?

  • Agreed with Brick on all fronts… I’d rather see J&W do their planned campus on the 195 land than grab that condo building near the train station that should have been a large addition to the fledgling downtown residential population… It’s just such a haphazard move… Bad for J&W long term, bad for downtown…

    After that hugely long gestation for Capitol Cove and all of its promise (extending the Riverwalk, etc), it becomes a dorm?? Ugh…

  • I cannot imagine anyone in the city will approve of this move and I would imagine it will require a zoning change in a big way…

  • The units weren’t selling, and I’m pretty sure JWU only has a 3 year lease on the building.

  • A major reason that JWU has chosen to lease the Cove was due to a slight housing crisis. This upcoming year the university has less transfers/drop outs and a strong incoming freshmen class, and with more than 700 people were on the housing waitlist, they had to do something asap.

    I do agree that the school should focus more on development of property immediately surrounding the campus, but they had to do something in a jiffy, and this is what transcended from that.

    I also agree that Providence needs to make a better effort to get more “real” people to live here. Aka not students who come in, dont contribute to taxes, and then leave 2-4 years later.

    who knows though.

  • Probably not, but I am not sure. I do still think it would require a use change though via zoning.

    And I certainly would be hard pressed to buy one of those condos after it was a JW dorm for three years.

    I don’t see anything good coming of this at all. If there’s a problem selling them, how about the city use some stimulus money to make them affordable to the Providence workforce? Teachers, firefighters, folks right out of college working in non-profit? All those people qualify for certainly “affordable” housing. If I was still in PVD I would probably qualify.

    Brown could encourage employees to buy condos in the city and walk to work. The City could actually lure back employees INTO the city by giving them low or no downpayment options.

    It seems to me that there are far better choices to be made than leasing this to what are unarguably the worst student neighbors in the city.

  • Usually when things don’t sell, you have to lower the price.

    Most of the problem of this economy is people and entitlement. The developers of this property waited and waited and waited too long and made a bad bet. How many luxury condos are really needed yet we kept building them. There should be a price for that and the price should be paid by the guys making the decision.

    This is a lesson in why the city needs to have a vision that is long-term instead of selling out to developers who only think in terms of the short term and maximizing their margin.

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