Greater City Providence

Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – September 9, 2013

[alert type=”muted”]Downtown Design Review Committee
Monday, September 9, 2013 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 1st Floor Conference Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903[/alert]

drc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of July 8, 2013 and August 5, 2013

New Business

DRC Application No. 13.16: 111 Mathewson Street (1930’s addition to Arnold Building)* Continued review of the proposal by Bookworm Assoc. LLC to modify an existing storefront window, and to create a new wall opening for the installation of a new storefront system on the front elevation of the building.

Other Business

Pre-Application Review: Esplanade at India Pont, 39 Pike Street and 40 Tockwotton Street Proposal by Churchill & Banks to construct a new 29,000-sf addition containing retail/office space at 39 Pike Street; and to construct a new building containing 52 apartments, fitness center, lounge, roof deck, and garage with 170 parking spaces at 40 Tockwotton Street. This item is for discussion only. No action will be taken by the DRC at this meeting.


*Confusingly, this is the Arnold Building which houses Cellar Stories Books (which confusingly is not in a cellar, but on the second floor), not the Narrow Building across the street which is also called the “Arnold Building.”

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  • The parcel where the apartment building in item number two is proposed is the site of the former Fuller Ironworks building, which was torn down in January of last year.

    Neither that site, nor the building they propose to add on to (which currently houses Vanity Restaurant & Lounge) are actually on 195 Land but rather just adjacent to 195 parcels, keeping this outside the purview of the 195 Commission.

    I would guesstimate, that a 52-unit building on that site could be 8 stories or more. One would want enough height to see over the 195/hurricane barrier viaduct to get the Bay views for premium units one imagines.

  • 52 apartments, 170 parking spots?? Evidently C&B sees a future of total auto dependency with lots and lots of traffic (hence pollution, congestion, noise…) in the area even though in Fox Pt there might have been a chance for encouraging, for some at least, an auto-free or auto-minimized lifestyle with bikes, zipcars, pedestrian orientation (near ped bridge to e built?) and use of transit, at least for some. I hope their parking is unbundled, that is, those who want apartments without parking don’t have to pay for it.

  • If the 170 space garage is under the 52 apartments, maybe this could reach 10 stories? I’ll save my personal feelings and simply be glad that there is actually a decent sized verticle new-construction project in the works!

  • I’m never excited about parking, but I imagine the 170 spaces are not only for the 52 apartments. They are also proposing an office/retail addition to the neighboring building.

    Churchill & Banks also has their sights set on parcels within the 195 land, they made a presentation to the 195 Commission (in closed Executive Session) at the January 29th meeting. The rest of the block this proposal sits on is 195 parcels, so parking could also be for future planned development on that land.

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