Greater City Providence

ProJo: R.I. Gov. Chafee proposes moving state offices into landmark ‘Superman building’ in Providence

Governor Chafee, as part of a package of budget amendments submitted to the legislature Thursday, proposes using part of this year’s revenue windfall to fund the initial planning and engineering to evaluate moving state offices into the building at 111 Westminster St.

See also: Bank of America to leave the “Superman” Building, now what?

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  • That would make sense. It’s large enough to contain virtually every single state office. Parking is an issue though.

    However you could give each legislator an office there. That would be interesting.

  • I’ll admit, it sounds like a good idea on its face, but let’s be realistic. Once of the reasons BOA was moving out was due to the building’s aging infrastructure and the problems related to warming/cooling it etc.

    I love the fact that it will be reused, but is it really worth the cost of relocation and other things?

    Remember, the idea of Providence becoming a videogame design hub sounded really good on paper too.

  • Um…. “where does everyone park” who works in the building NOW???

    I’m sure there are CURRENT options that exist.

    Perhaps including vouchers for state workers to use the state public transportation system (and perhaps then will some of them realize just how important it is to our city-state).

  • @Andy, I thought the caps-lock and ‘?!?’ would convey sarcasm. There’s plenty of parking downtown, as had been discussed many times on this site before.

    @Jack’s comment makes sense…my sense too is that this building does not conform to the needs of a modern office.

  • Well the state could do something y’know normal and either strike a deal with a surface parking lot and make employees pay to park or create a situation where it is far more cost effective for state workers to utilize public transit.

    The building isn’t set up to be occupied by multiple companies. The state is on entity and they could surely institute ways to keep people from going where they need not be by keeping certain departments on the lower floors and utilizing swipe card systems like sonitrol.

    I’m just wondering if the state would leave its current buildings left to rot, or if the state’s current landlords will cry poverty and ask for parking lots.

  • I think that this is a weird idea. This proposal would disconnect all of the state offices from the state house. Also the state house has offices in it. If the Governor and any other offices within the state house were cleared out, maybe there would be enough room for each legislator to have an office in the state house, which would be more convenient for them.

    Would the state try to sell its office buildings across the street from the state house? What if there were no buyers? Would all the state offices in Cranston and Warwick be relocated to downtown? The state owns a lot of buildings that were paid for with taxpayer dollars. So instead the state would be paying rent forever on 111 Westminster.

    State employees using mass transit would set a great example. Parking wouldn’t be a problem, just inconvenient and expensive, which many would complain about bitterly. And not everyone can use mass transit. Getting in and out of 111 would take longer. Plus, would everyone have to go through an airport scan? What about public hearings with dozens or hundreds in attendance?

    From a cost standpoint it might not be practical to update the building to modern offices. The return on hotels or residential would better justify that investment. I disagree with the idea that 111 can only be organized for a single tenant. There are hundreds of examples of wedding cake buildings like this one in New York that have been completely broken up with multiple tenants.

  • I don’t know the details of the gov’s proposal, but I was assuming (hoping?) that he meant the consolidation of the state’s many suburban offices,particularly those in Cranston.

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