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Tag Archives | Apartments

Not the apartment for you

If you go to public hearings on new development projects often enough, you’ll hear a familiar refrain—the apartments are too small, there’s no garden, too little parking, etc.—which boils down to: “I wouldn’t want to live there.” Well, guess what, not everyone wants to live where you do.

Some people live alone, some people have big families; some people like small places that are easy to clean, some are cheap, some have lots of furniture; some people like to garden, some people like to come home from work and watch Netflix, some people drive, some people walk, bike, or take the bus. Well, perhaps, this building isn’t built for you.

Healthy neighborhoods need a range of housing types, from family sized apartments and homes, to micro units and hip bachelor lofts and everything in between. The desire to have other people live the way I do, (“I like to garden. Gardening is important to (my) community. This building has no gardens. Therefore it’s bad for our community”) is a suburban desire. It’s the desire for middle-class conformity and normalcy.

When you travel to other healthy cities around the world (or even in the US), you see the vast array of ways that people are happy to live. I hope that you’ve found a place you like to live; I don’t think it’s helpful to kick away the ladder of other people finding places they may like to live. Guess, what, this apartment isn’t for you.

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Downtown Providence Living Tour – June 10, 2017

Wilkinson Building – by Nat Rea courtesy of Cornish Associates

From the Providence Downtown Improvement District:


Downtown Providence Living Tour Offers Behind-The-Scenes Views of Apartments in The Heart of The City

11 properties to be featured including newly opened rehabilitation projects

Tour 11 downtown apartment buildings, all in one afternoon! On Saturday, June 10th from 11AM to 5PM, The Providence Foundation and Providence Downtown Improvement District (DID) will host a Downtown Providence Living Tour to give the public an insider’s perspective on a variety of residential options in the neighborhood. This year, the tour will feature rental units within the following properties:

  • 95 Lofts: 59 apartments located within the redeveloped Irons & Russell Building. 95 Chestnut Street
  • 225 Weybosset: 12 renovated apartments in two historic buildings, across from PPAC. 225 Weybosset Street
  • Arcade Providence: 48 micro-lofts within a national historic landmark building. 65 Weybosset Street
  • Avalon at Center Place: 225-unit building conveniently located across from the train station. 50 Park Row West
  • G Reserve: Redevelopment of the iconic 12-story Union Trust Building. 170 Westminster Street
  • Peerless Building: The largest Westminster Lofts building featuring a roof deck and atrium. 150 Union Street
  • Providence G: 56 luxury apartments within 3 connected historic buildings. 100 Dorrance Street
  • Regency Plaza: Full service apartment community with an outdoor pool and tennis courts. 1 Regency Plaza
  • The Sampalis Building: 15 apartments above 3 storefronts, across from PPAC and JWU. 199 Weybosset Street
  • The Telephone Building: 12 apartments with high ceilings and in-unit laundry. 112 Union Street
  • Wilkinson Building: Smallest of the Westminster Lofts buildings, featuring 12 luxury lofts. 90 Eddy Street

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PBN: Providence office building on Weybosset under conversion to apartments

259 Weybosset Street, image from Google Street View

A four-story downtown office building near Johnson & Wales University is being converted to apartments and retail space.

The project at 259 Weybosset St. will include large apartments of four to five bedrooms per unit, and appears to be marketed to college students. An online ad indicates the apartments will be available in September, at rental rates of $1,100 per bedroom, or $5,500 per unit.

I like that the contractors working on this project have been able to keep the sidewalk open by providing a passageway through the scaffolding.

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Downtown Design Review Committee Special Meeting – New Building at 169 Canal – January 9, 2017

Downtown Design Review Committee
Notice of Special Meeting
Monday, January 9, 2017 – 4:45pm
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

Renderings of 169 Canal Street by DBVW Architects

drc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Meeting Minutes of 11/7/16 and 12/5/16
  • Annual Election of Vice Chair

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 16.34: 169 Canal Street (parking lot) – Public Hearing – The subject of the hearing will be an application by Vision Properties, requesting a development incentive in the form of a height bonus, and waivers from Providence Zoning Ordinance Section 606, Design Standards for New Construction, for a new 13-story mixed-use building to be constructed at 169 Canal Street, Providence, RI. The applicant is seeking a 30% height bonus and waivers from Sections 606.A.4 (Recess Line Requirement), 606.E.1 (Building Facades/Ground Floor Transparency), and 606.E.3 (Building Facades/Upper Level Transparency). At the conclusion of the hearing, the DDRC will take action with respect to these items and then continue review of the building design. The applicant was granted conceptual approval of the new construction at the December 15, 2016 meeting.

Adjournment

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Atwells at Knight – Proposed Mixed-Use Building on Federal Hill

434-atwells-001

Rendering of Atwells at Knight by Northeast Collaborative Architects

At their November 15th meeting, the City Plan Commission will be reviewing a proposal to construct a 5-story building with ground floor commercial with apartments on the upper-floors at 434 Atwells Avenue on Federal Hill. The proposed project contains 40 parking spaces partially enclosed and partially in an open surface lot.

The CPC’s agenda item:

The applicant is requesting master plan approval to construct a mixed use development in the C-1 zone that will provide forty residential units, forty internal parking spaces and retail space on the ground floor. A height of 50 feet and five stories is proposed. The applicant is seeking a dimensional adjustment from the 45 feet, 4 story height limit of the zone and an adjustment for two parking spaces – for action (AP 28 Lot 150 – 9,993 SF, AP 33 Lot 508 – 10,353 SF, Federal Hill)

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – August 15, 2016

Downtown Design Review Committee
Notice of Regular Meeting
Monday, August 15, 2016 4:45pm
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room
Providence, RI 02903

drc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of July 11, 2016

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 16.21: 201 Washington Street (Trinity Repertory Company) – Public Hearing – The subject of the hearing will be an application by Trinity Repertory Company, requesting a waiver from Zoning Ordinance Section 1607(K), Wall Signs, which limits the square footage of wall signs in the D?1 Zone. The applicant is proposing to install a painted wall sign on the north elevation of the building, which exceeds the maximum size allowed.

225-weybosset

225 Weybosset Street. Image from Google Streetview

2. DRC Application No. 16.24: 225 Weybosset Street (Commercial Building) – Proposal by HM Ventures 8 LLC, to replace existing storefronts and doors, and to remove existing fire escapes.

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City Plan Commission Meeting – August 19, 2014

City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from June 29th meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

adrianhallway

Adrian Hall Way – Image from Google Street View

1. Referral 3381 – Petition to abandon Adrian Hall Way The applicant, Trinity Repertory Company, is requesting to abandon the entirety of Adrian Hall Way including AP 25 Lot 179 – for action (Downtown)

2. Referral 3382 – Petition to abandon a portion of Stanhope Street The applicant intends to abandon the portion of Stanhope Street adjacent to AP 97 Lot 12 to add to the area of the lot – for action (Charles)

Minor Subdivision

3. Case No. 14-027 MI – 345 Harris Ave The applicant is requesting to subdivide a lot at 345 Harris Ave measuring approximately 183,884 SF into two lots measuring 29,585 SF and 154,299 SF respectively – for action (AP 27 Lot 284, Valley)

Public Informational Meeting Major Land Development Project

4. Case No. 14-028MA – 345 Harris Ave (Master Plan Approval) The applicant is seeking master plan approval to develop the subdivided portion of the subject lot as a parking lot that will provide 86 parking spaces. Public comment will be taken – for action (AP 27 Lot 84, Olneyville)

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News & Notes

bikes-flickr

Photo (cc) Cristina Valencia

The Washington Post: Actually, cyclists make city streets safer

In the hysteria that predated the launch of New York’s bike-sharing system last year, many critics cried that the bikes would make the city’s streets less safe. All those cyclists wouldn’t be wearing helmets! They’d have no insurance! Accidents would skyrocket, and with them lawsuits against the city. Fatalities would triple!

The system’s safety record quickly turned out to be less sensational. But this was as bike advocates expected. Biking — as with walking — offers a prime example of the power of crowds. As more people bike and walk, cycling and pedestrian fatalities actually decline. That’s because the more people bike and walk, the more drivers become attuned to their presence (either on sidewalks or road shoulders), and the more cities are likely to invest in the kind of infrastructure explicitly meant to protect them (all of which further encourages more cyclists and pedestrians).


The Boston Globe: Boston’s parking solution is not more parking

Northeastern University professor Stephanie Pollack has studied gentrification around transit stops across the country, and she’s found that one of the biggest mistakes municipalities make is requiring too much parking. Pollack’s data show that, given the choice, residents will self-select: Heavy drivers choose to live in homes that provide parking, and residents who don’t own cars will choose transit-oriented, low-parking homes. This is especially true for renters. So the answer to an urban parking crunch isn’t adding supply. It’s recognizing that parking demand isn’t monolithic. Urban parking is a choice, and if Boston really does have too many cars already, the answer isn’t to build room for more.

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PBN: Cornish tapped to convert Superman building to apartments

Cornish Associates has been hired to redevelop the Industrial Trust Tower at 111 Westminster St. in downtown Providence and turn the city’s tallest building into apartments, Cornish president and CEO Arnold “Buff” Chace Jr. said Tuesday.

The owner of the tower, High Rock Westminster LLC, picked Cornish to reinvent the property, known locally as the “Superman building,” late last year, Chace said, because of the Providence firm’s success revitalizing several blocks of Westminster Street.

Full disclosure, I work for Cornish Associates.
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City Plan Commission Meeting, July 17

Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development
1st Floor Meeting Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from June 19th, 2012 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Major Land Development Project

1. Case No. 12-026MI – 125 Pitman Street The applicant is seeking preliminary plan approval to construct a 25 unit, five story apartment building. – for action (Fox Point, AP 15 Lots 408, 410 and 411)

2. Case No. 12-027MI – 66 Huber Avenue The applicant is seeking preliminary plan approval to construct a 40 unit apartment building. (Manton, AP 80 Lot 894) – for action

Adjournment


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The Arcade: Cautious Optimism

Arcade

Rumors have been swirling about the Arcade since, well probably since 1828 when it was built, but certainly since 2008 when Granoff kicked out all the retailers and closed it.

I’ve heard all manner of stories about the place over recent years but haven’t written about any of them because I’m very much of the “I’ll believe it when I see it,” opinion. The rumors however are ramping up now with GoLocalProv reporting about it earlier this month and PBN reporting on it today, and a special event scheduled for Wednesday with the Mayor and Governor attending. So, the noise has risen to the point where I must write about it.

The plan according to information gathered by GoLocalProv and PBN is to re-open retail on the ground floor and convert the 2nd and 3rd floors to residential uses.

First. Was it necessary to kick out the retailers and close the joint for 4 years in order to build apartments on the upper floors? Sure, there are costs to having the building open, but there were rent paying tenants and those tenants had customers (myself among them). Whatever, I’m always first to admit that I’m not an economist, maybe closing down made the most sense for the owners. So, yay, they’re going to re-open it.

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