Greater City Providence

Fane Organization Hope Point Tower on 195 Redevelopment District Commission Agenda Today – July 25, 2017

[alert type=”muted”]I-195 Redevelopment District Commission – Public Meeting Notice
A regular meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101, Providence, Rhode Island, on Tuesday July 25, 2017, beginning at 5:00 P.M., for the following purposes:[/alert]

Rendering of proposed 45-story tower on Parcel 42 by the Fane Organization

195-roundI. Public Session

  1. Welcoming Remarks by Chairperson Azrack.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on June 19, 2017 and July 10, 2017.
  3. Executive Director’s Report.
  4. Presentation on the proposed development on Parcel 42 by Jason Fane of The Fane Organization.
  5. Presentation by Patricia Adell of Real Estate Solutions Group, LLC regarding the proposed development on Parcel 42 by The Fane Organization.
  6. Public Comment on the proposed development on Parcel 42 by The Fane Organization.
  7. Vote to consider the Level 2 application as submitted by The Fane Organization.
  8. Informational presentation by Christopher Wangro of Zaragunda, Inc. regarding District interim use and programming.
  9. Chairperson’s Report/Agenda for next meeting on Monday, August 21, 2017 at 5:00P.M.
  10. Vote to Adjourn.
[alert type=”muted”]Agenda [/alert]

Site plan of proposed Hope Point Tower on Parcel 42

[alert type=”muted”]See also:
Providence Business News: Hope Point Tower reintroduced in 45-story design
The Providence Journal: Study: ‘Substantial subsidy’ probably needed for proposed Providence high-rise[/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.


  • Now is the time to show up and speak in support of this project!!!

    It brings three powerful elements to the district:
    1) A strong and impressive signal to others that a major development is welcome and on the way – it complements the Wexford and other parcels
    2) Adds hundreds of residents who give activity to the district
    3) Connects the district to the downtown (it is only 3/10s if a mile from the Textron tower)

    Show up!!!

  • Yes…with 10 conditions…some are:
    Must go before City Planning
    Must get zoning variance from the City Council
    Must get Downtown Design Committee approval
    Must get approval for adjustment in parcel angle from General Assembly
    Must provide more fiscal viability data to the I195 Commission
    Must be no less than 30 stories, no more than 46 stories

    Now everyone who supports this needs to influence the city officials to move this through…fast

  • With buildings of that size there needs to be provision for light rail, including assessments on tall buildings for the cosi of light rail.

  • Pathetic and fishy that they brought no new renderings. How could they have spent half a million on those few they initially gave? This thing better be as pretty or better than that nice one they just finished in Toronto.

  • Providence Business News: Hope Point Tower gets preliminary approval from I-195 district commission

    The commission’s preliminary approval to proceed Tuesday came with a lengthy set of conditions. The applicant will need to obtain design and site approval from the city of Providence, which would have to grant a zoning change to allow the building to scale beyond 130 feet.

    And the General Assembly will be required to sign off on the site plan, because it entails a reconfiguration of the public park that is part of the I-195 redevelopment district the state created. The project, if it passes those hurdles, would then return to the I-195 commission for final approval.

    From the sounds of things, there’s barely more than fancy renderings here. A lot of outstanding questions of design and financing remain open. Approval, if approval comes, should not be fast, it should be deliberate and open.

    “The Hope Point Tower will have outstanding features such as a spectacular unobstructed panoramic views, a luxury private club with big glass windows on a high floor with magnificent views, a state of the art fitness center, an indoor pool and many others.”

    With a six-story podium, the building would maintain its sweeping views pretty much wherever it was built, it does not need this parcel for those amenties. It could be built in an area where the City’s zoning regulations and Comprehensive Plan call for tall buildings. Both zoning and the Comp Plan went through a public process, we shouldn’t be so quick to ignore those plans. Since Fane does not own this parcel, the question of location is a legitimate one.

    “It’s a false dichotomy to say that a commission charged with [creating] jobs ought not pursue development of residential,” [R.I. Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor] said. “I respect the position that we ought to be very focused on job production. But the notion that residential development is at odds with that is mistaken.”

    I agree with the Secretary here.

    Several representatives of the construction trades argued that the commission’s role is to provide jobs for Rhode Islanders, which the new building would do.

    Rhode Island laborers would likely see work from this project, but a project of this size would likely look to Boston for a General Contractor.

  • Three points:

    It is not “…fishy that they brought no new renderings…”. The conceptual issue at hand was not the building facade, height, or exterior design beyond the parking podium.

    That stage will not come until appearance before city agencies.

    Thus building in and of itself does not drive a need for light rail. That day will not come until a recognized critical mass is evident in the Innovation District and Financial District.

    Providence construction firms will get the mass of the jobs for this, although some Boston participation is possible. There is no reason a Providence general contractor will not get the job – we have national GC here.

    I hope you all follow this to show up and support it with the city agencies in the months ahead.

  • Wow… is this account misleading. I was there.

    1) “…to allow his tower to exceed the size of the parcel of land he wants to build on, which will cause a neighboring park to be much smaller than planned.” NOT TRUE. IT IS A SILVER TO ACCOUNT FOE A SHIFT IN THE ANGLE OF PARCEL 42 TO FREE UP ACCESS TO THE PARK

    If built, Hope Point Tower would be the tallest building in the state and it would be 1/3rd of a mile away from the next tallest building, leaving a wide gap in the Providence skyline.
    2- NOT TRUE. A WIDE GAP??!!

    The public was less enthused about the project. Most seemed to think that the building was out of character for Providence and they doubted Fane’s rosy financing numbers.

  • I’m happy something tall will be built…but I’m going miss the post-modern look of city’s renaissance era high-rises. This proposal’s blocky style is trendy and exciting, but I’m worried it will suffer the same popular disinterest in 20 years that befell many less iconic examples of 70’s brutalism, namely the Fogarty building and the Garrahy Court House. Any building in such an iconic position must be interesting for decades to continue attracting investment in the area.

  • Yea currently that neighborhood is in DOWNTOWN PROVIDENCE, there are going to be tall buildings. People have no understanding of their own surroundings. Steve is right, there are already 400 foot towers a half a mile away. As a landscape architect, this will only improve that the use of that green space area, not decrease.

  • According to golocal to build this they will need $15 million in subsidies from the state and umpteen millions in tax breaks from the city. For mostly upper income housing, that would mean low income residents, maybe all existing residents, will be subsidizing new housing for high income residents. Is this correct?
    how much of this is parking?

  • Approve all three and let’s move on. The prospect of 1,000 new apartments downtown is so exciting. It would legitimately change downtown Providence forever. 2,000+ new downtown residents would add more life and culture to our great city. This is our core, we should be supporting developers that want to build towers. In order to have a great capital city we need to have greater density downtown, and this achieves that.

    I like the idea of having an indoor pedestrian walkway through these new developments to downtown. Similar to the way you can walk from the mall all the way to the Dunk via Omni and convention center…although I’d like to see the new buildings proposed near the train station extend that indoor walkway to the train station, bus hub, and State House. Think: In Boston, Back Bay train station to Christian Science Center via Copley Mall. Connect these towers and Wexford closer to downtown via an indoor corridor to make it not seem so far from the financial district during inclement weather.

  • ^^ yes to that so much. When you look at examples such as in Minneapolis and Canadian cities, it makes a lot of sense for a long-winter city like Providence as well.

  • It’s not that big a difference, in terms of distance, between the Superman building to this site and between the Superman building and the Omni. That’s a stupid argument.

    As Jef rightly notes: because Fane doesn’t yet own the parcel, it is not a stupid argument, on the other hand, to question whether this could be better sited somewhere else. And it probably could. The odious parking lots near Garrahy come to mind. The views would be no less spectacular.

    Re. the subsidies: okay, yes, the rest of the city will be subsidizing high-end residences for a while, but how long will it take before the city starts to turn a profit?

    I mean, I’m a fan. Call me a size queen, but I like the height. And the revised siteplan, offering freer park access. And I know I bitched about THIS particular site just two paragraphs ago, but on the other hand, this development would guarantee that the new waterfront park would be well-kept and classy … as opposed to so many underutilized and unsightly Providence parks.

  • Sam makes a valid point at the end of his post. It gives the city incentive to keep up that area and the park more than if the building wasn’t built. I’m also a fan of bringing in residents that can benefit the local economy by becoming consumers in local businesses. Build the damn tower.

  • Prov needs a new modern side to complement it historic side one bldg in quite enough and design just what it is iconic ,not like Boston which is abscessed with to many bldg

  • Is there a meeting pertaining this scheduled for tomorrow? The Channel 12 article from a while back mentioned that there would be a meeting on Jan 18.

    The developer also mentioned that he intended on breaking ground in Fall 2018 as long as the City processed everything in reasonable time. Is this still likely?

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