Greater City Providence

The Valley Breeze: Officials: Luxury apartment project could be game-changer


City officials say a plan to bring 200 luxury apartments and 30,000 square feet of commercial space to vacant land at 45 Division St. is the big score the downtown has been waiting for.


Colin Kane, partner with the Peregrine Group, told GoLocalProv last week that his company was planning an “exciting” project of 200 apartments and extensive commercial space for this area on the riverfront. Kane did not respond to calls for comment.

Zelazo said city officials love the idea of luxury apartments with desirable waterfront views and “beautiful” look at the Pawtucket River Bridge.

Can we all just stop using the term “game-changer” right now thank you?

[alert type=”muted”]See also:
PBN: Riverfront revival in Pawtucket?
Stick a fork in it: Pawtucket Hampton Inn[/alert]

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.


  • So, this is going to be the thing that turns downtown Pawtucket around? How about all the crazy twist and turn roads in the area… I have lived in R.I. all my life and still get lost in downtown Pawtucket! Thank God, I know how to get to the Gamm Theatre, and a few other quick places. Otherwise, it’s a no-go zone for me!

  • Hopefully a ferry landing is part of the plan, making water taxis to other places on the Bay and Providence feasible. Using our water resources is necessary to offering alternative transportation options to our citizens. Boston and NYC already do this, it’s only a matter of time before they realize that water transportation is far cheaper than laying down tracks. A reliable core water transit system ferrying people into Providence can lay the groundwork for a larger (non-water) transit system like a RI railroad or streetcar system.

    Imagine being able to get into a water shuttle in Pawtucket, stop into E.G. for dinner, and then head into Providence for drinks and a show, before taking the water shuttle back to Pawtucket. What a delightful and scenic trip.

  • KCB, Would a water taxi be able to fit through the openings of the Fox Point hurricane barrier? If not I don’t think it would be a major issue since the water taxi could just dock near Narraganset landing or Fox point.

  • And… so glad Kane is out of the 195 Commission. Hmm… four years and not a shovel or crane in Providence, yet ready to roll in Pawtucket? I smell fish, no surprise being it the Ocean State…

  • It’s an EZ drive to everything!
    Barely possible to walk to… almost nothing!
    What is the game and how is it being changed?

  • Not sure I understand the negativity here.

    Not sure, if I were a developer looking for opportunities, I would be interested in sinking my money into a state with such entrenched, morbid pessimism about every goddam thing.

    Pretty obvious that this would be a win for a city that badly needs a win. It would be a highly visible project. If the units sell, it would prove a market. Pawtucket has lots more spots (ahem, Apex building!) that could be highly valuable, if developers felt the investment to be worth making. For that to happen, Pawtucket needs to get a bit of traction. This proposal could help on that front. And who knows, with some upscale urban housing options available, maybe in the near future we could start a clamor for movement on the Pawtucket train station, which really WOULD be a game-changer.

  • Not all negativity springs from the same impulse. I am not with the Pawucket? Why bother? (or the Rhode Island? Why bother?) crowd.

    200 apartments on 15 acres is suburban, not downtown density. This will do as much to lock in Pawtucket’s urban-fabric problem as begin to solve it. I have higher hopes for downtown Pawtucket. This is better than nothing but spare me the game-changer rah rah.

  • What defines a ‘luxury’ apartment versus a regular one? I ask because I know a lot of people who could spend $1/sqft/month for a ‘regular’ apartment and I feel like that’s where the real demand in urban RI is, not $2/sqft/mo places with concierge service and big lobbies.

    Maybe I’m wrong though… Maybe Pawtucket could be a bedroom community for Boston.

  • Isn’t “luxury” defined by granite counter tops and stainless appliances? That always seems to be the biggest difference between “luxury” apartments and “regular” apartments when these things are built. They probably also have a fitness center, protected parking, and other amenities that aren’t in the apartment itself. Maybe they also have jacuzzi tubs and high end shower heads.

    Other than that stuff, there’s really no difference. It’s amazing how much more per month you can get for a small things like the counter tops and the color of the appliances.

  • There’s no real definition of ‘luxury’ it is all marketing handwavium. Basically, what Jim says is right, it comes down to finishes. I would expect a new construction project that bills itself as ‘luxury’ would have some sort of lobby concierge, probably a ‘media room’ that no one ever uses, maybe heated parking… Whatever a developer can add to a marketing brochure that won’t cost them too much.

  • Paul – I don’t know if you’ve actually been on Division Street recently, but the Google Street View image is from September 2011 when construction on the I-95 bridge was in full swing and parcels on both sides of the street were being used as staging areas.

    Bing has much more recent imagery, though not completely up to date –

    The former Tire Pros on the south side of the street is now a medical center – – and the lot on the north side where the cruiser is parked was identified in the Downtown Design Plan as a location for a park –

    KCB – There’s already a ferry landing a quarter of a mile away.

  • Andrew – The site is 15 acres, but it has significant grades, river frontage, and a sewer easement that limit the amount of buildable area. The car dealership that used to be there only covered 2.75 acres. You’re also not including the 30,000 square feet of commercial space in your density calculation.

    As far as walkability, it’s 1,000 feet from the Apex site, a third of a mile from Main & Roosevelt, just under a half mile to the Grant, and just over three quarters of a mile to the future MBTA station.

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