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City Plan Commission Meeting – December 20, 2016

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, December 20, 2016, 4:45pm
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the November 15, 2016, meeting – for action
  • Adoption of 2017 meeting calendar
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3409 – 12 Lenox Avenue – The petitioner is requesting to rezone 12 Lenox Ave from R-2 to C-2. The lot measures approximately 12,000 SF – for action (AP 53 Lot 386, Blackstone)

Minor Subdivision

2. 16-055MI – 210 Windmill Street – The applicant is requesting to subdivide a lot measuring 28,932 SF in the R-1 zone into two lots measuring 12,382 SF and 16,550 SF – for action (AP 97 Lot 409, Charles)

3. 16-057MI – 246 Gallatin Street – The applicant is requesting to subdivide a lot measuring 14,996 SF in the R-1 zone into three lots; two measuring 5,000 SF and one measuring 4,996 SF. The minimum lot size in the R-1 zone is 5,000 SF. The applicant will apply for an administrative modification for the undersized lot – for action (AP 52 Lot 572, Elmwood)

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One Hundred Harris, Proposed Parking with Residences at Old Fruit & Produce Warehouse Site

A proposal by the Carpionato Group for 776 parking spaces and 459 residential units at 100 Harris Avenue (aka the Old Fruit and Produce Warehouse) is on the City Plan Commission Agenda for their meeting on December 20th.

From the CPC Agenda:

MAJOR LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT – PUBLIC INFORMATIONAL MEETING
6. Case No. 16-054 MA – 100 Harris Avenue (Master Plan) – The applicant is proposing to construct two buildings and a parking structure on three lots measuring a total of approximately 6.06 acres. The development will provide 459 residential units and 776 parking spaces in addition to residential amenities. The site is zoned M-MU 90 – for action (AP 26 Lot 368 and 370, AP 19 Lot 38, Olneyville)

So this is weird and ugly, and holy parking! But it is also in that tragic no-mans land behind the mall, so…

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GoLocal Providence: 195 Bidder Carpionato Failed to Redevelop Providence Fruit Market

fruit-produce-warehouse

Former Fruit and Produce Warehouse (left) in March 2005 prior to demolition.

The Carpionato Group, who recently submitted a proposal to the 195 Commission to develop the former highway land, has to date not developed a previous acquisition of prime Providence real estate — the former historic Fruit and Produce Warehouse.

Following its purchase of the warehouse from the state — and controversial demolition of the historic property in 2008 — Carpionato, the Johnston-based commercial real estate firm, had presented plans to turn the former fruit market into a mixed used office, retail and hotel development, which have not materialized. The city granted Carpionato preliminary approval for a surface parking lot at the location in 2013.

See also:
Greater City Providence: ProJo outlines developer’s vision for east side 195 parcels
Greater City Providence: Fruit and Produce safety hazard
Greater City Providence: Yes, you can haz demo permit
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Yes, you can haz demo permit

Yes, You Can Haz Demo Permit

From ProJo 7to7 Daily News Blog

Judge says developer can demolish historic food terminal

PROVIDENCE – A judge has ruled that Carpionato Properties can knock down the food and produce terminal on Harris Avenue, denying an attempt by state lawyers to stop the demolition.

The Johnston developer had obtained a demolition permit last week from the Providence Building Official, allowing them to destroy the building as soon as asbestos removal work is complete.

The permitting surprised state officials, who had sold the historic 1929 building to Carpionato in February 2007 with the understanding that it would be reused. The day after the demolition permit was issued, state lawyers filed a motion seeking a temporary restraining order preventing Carpionato from knocking down the building.

This afternoon, Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein denied that motion, saying that the state would be unlikely to prove its case in the long term.

“The court has concluded that it is unlikely here”¦ that plaintiff has a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits,” Silverstein said.

“The court inescapably has concluded here that it must find against the plaintiff’s position,” Silverstein said.

Carpionato Senior Vice President Kelly Coates said that two canopies hanging over the bui

“We will take the canopies off and continue to remove the asbestos,” Coates said.

Carpionato’s attorneys speculated that full demolition could take as long as four months.

State Lawyer Michael Mitchell declined comment.

-Staff Writer Daniel Barbarisi

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Fruit and Produce safety hazard

I can haz demo permit?

Read today’s article from The Providence Journal and prepare for your brain to explode.

Some choice nuggets from the article:

Carpionato had agreed to buy the warehouse from the state for $4.3 million in 2005, a price $10 million below what the state paid for it only seven years before.

State officials and preservation advocates say that Carpionato was allowed to buy it at such a low price only because it was sold with the understanding that it would not be demolished.

When the state sold the building to Carpionato, a preservation easement was to be included, contractually protecting the building against destruction. For reasons no one can explain, that key provision was “mysteriously absent” from the final agreement, according to Vicki Veh, interim head of the Providence Preservation Society.

Oopsie! The bankrupt state of Rhode Island sold the property at a rock bottom price and forgot to include the preservation clause. Silly state!

Read on about the usual back and forth between city officials and preservationist about the definition of “unsafe.”

I’m not even going to get into the typical nonsense from former mayor Pavalino in the article.

J. from ArtInRuins posted this rather prescient missive on UrbanPlanet a couple days ago:

  1. Acquire a building that was once used for industry, preferably an obsolete one. These buildings have been known to be situated close to water and shipping lanes, so will have great views which you can exploit later.
  2. Don’t worry if the building was on the National Register, or protected by the State. Don’t listen to the people who may have great ideas to redevelop the project. You don’t want all that hassle and all those “conversations”.
  3. Sit on it. For a long time. It would help if it was already derelict when you bought it because the previous owner was losing money as their industry was becoming obsolete.
  4. Let graffiti accumulate. Hipsters will love it, but they don’t vote. The neighborhood will soon forget about the activity that went on there and the buildings own “glory days”. It will start to look horrible, and they will start to complain about it.
  5. Keep sitting on it. It would help if you complained about the cost of potential renovations while you did so.
  6. Let security around the perimeter go lax. Teenagers will get in, wreck the place, and maybe start a fire or two. If you are lucky, that will take care of it. If not, it becomes a hazard and a public nuisance.
  7. Finally, after years of neglect, declare the place not worth saving, and suggest to the City that they let you demolish it. The city will go along because the neighbors have been complaining, and since you hold the checkbook, they will be too scared to demand anything more from you.
  8. (Optional) Build a parking lot while you “wait for the market to become ripe”
  9. Build something there that won’t last for as long as the building you just let go to waste, but instead will remain shiny and new for about five. Sell it to an out-of-town conglomerate once you’ve made your money, and let them worry about the upkeep.
  10. Rinse. Repeat.

I have more thoughts about all this, but only have the time/energy for this snarky missive at this point.

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