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Tag Archives | Residential

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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ProJo: 6-story building, grocery store, proposed for downtown Providence parking lot

Image from Google Maps

A developer is planning to construct a six-story building on what is now a downtown parking lot with residences upstairs, a restaurant facing Fountain Street and a 5,000- to 10,000-square-foot grocery store fronting Washington Street.

[…]

[Arnold B.] Chace said this will be the first time that he has built a new building from scratch downtown. His past projects involved the revitalization of historic buildings.

And therein lies a challenge: creating “a modern building that’s harmonious with the downtown historic fabric,” Chace said.

Full disclusure: I work for the developer, Cornish Associates.
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City Plan Commission Meeting – January 17, 2017

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 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 December19, 2016 regular meeting – for action
  • 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. Continued from December 19, 2016 – for action (AP 53 Lot 386, Blackstone)

Development Plan Review

2. EDUCATIONAL FACILITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN – MOSES BROWN SCHOOL – The applicant, Moses Brown School, is requesting a change to their campus development plan which was last approved in 2015. The applicant is proposing to construct a 19,000 SF squash court facility with 12 courts, offices, classrooms locker rooms and other ancillary spaces. The space was originally indicated for student housing – for action (AP 11 50, 119 and 120, College Hill)

Land Development Project

RENDERING OF ATWELLS AT KNIGHT BY NORTHEAST COLLABORATIVE ARCHITECTS

3. Case No. 16-051MA – 434 Atwells Avenue (Preliminary Plan) – The applicant is requesting preliminary plan approval to construct a mixed use development in the C-1 zone that will provide forty residential units, forty parking spaces and retail space on the ground floor. A height of 50 feet and five stories is proposed. The applicant is seeking a waiver from submission of state approvals and a lighting plan at the preliminary plan stage – for action (AP 28 Lot 150 – 9,993 SF, AP 33 Lot 508 – 10,353 SF, Federal Hill)

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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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I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – December 12, 2016

PUBLIC NOTICE OF MEETING 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 MONDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2016, beginning at 5:00 P.M., for the following purposes:

Updated rendering of single tower proposal for Hope Point project

It was my understanding that Hope Point Towers was part of the Executive Session discussion, I’m told it is not.

195-roundI. Public Session

  1. Welcoming Remarks by Chairperson Azrack.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on November 14, 2016.
  3. Executive Director’s Report.
  4. Vote to adopt the 2017 Commission meeting schedule.
  5. Presentation regarding proposed Waldorf project on Parcel 30; Public hearing and Vote regarding approval of project plan and design, including proposed waiver.
  6. Presentation on proposed development on Parcels 22 and 25 by Wexford Science and Technology and CV Properties.
  7. Informational presentation by Cambridge Innovation Center.

  8. Continue Reading →
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Proposed building at 169 Canal Street

Developer Charles Tapalian is presenting plans for a new 10-story residential building at 169 Canal Street at the Downtown Design Review Committee meeting on March 14th.

The 10-story building would contain 144 studio and one-bedroom apartments with ground floor retail. It appears to be targeting the student market. As far as I can tell, the plan is for no on-site parking with ample bike parking provided within the building.

This is an informational meeting only, the DRC will be offering opinions on the proposal, but no approvals will be given. The developer is presenting two options for the new building. The architect is Jo Ann Bentley Architects of Fall River.

Option 1

169-Canal-1-canalelevation

Elevation along Canal Street

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Zoning for 210 West Exchange

Exhibit 10 - Zoning Ordinance

Did you look at the new zoning map and see a little piece of downtown zoning floating by itself on the back side of Federal Hill? I’m told this piece of downtown zoning in the midst of an otherwise mixed-use manufacturing zone was created by the City Council for a proposed development at 210 West Exchange Street.

The proposed building would top out at 185′, ~17 floors with 198 residential units and a 136 room Aloft Hotel. It would sit up against the highway between West Exchange Street and the former G. Fox building.

A study created for the developer, WestX Capital, describes the project like this:

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ProJo: Land of opportunity: Route 195 panel close to seeking developers’ proposals

195-land-aerial-ridot

Aerial image of the 195 redevelopment area from RIDOT

The “meds and eds” complex that Rhode Island’s political leaders envisioned when they formed the commission in 2011 may not be what’s in store for the prime real estate, commission Chairman Colin P. Kane and Executive Director Jan A. Brodie say.

The market will dictate what goes onto the land, they say.

They talk about “live, work and play” uses — residential development, restaurants, laboratories and hotels — that would attract employees for jobs in biotechnology, food science, design and other fields.

Nice to see them steering the discussion away from “meds and eds” as some sort of secret sauce that is gonna save Rhode Island.

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ProJo: Residential construction, office space eyed for Fox Point land

The existing 3-story building on the one-acre lot now houses Vanity Restaurant. That portion of the development will house commercial tenants with the existing 11,000-square-foot structure expanded to 40,000 square feet of commercial space. The residential portion of the project will be new construction that includes 52 one- and two-bedroom apartments, including two penthouse suites. It will also have a rooftop garden. There will be 170 parking spaces for tenants and visitors.

vanity

Image from Google Maps

This project was on the Downtown Design Review Committee agenda in September. The project is being called, Esplanade at India Point.

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News & Notes

new-york-wetlands

Wetlands to provide a storm surge buffer for New York City. Image from Architecture Research Office

Fast Company: A Plan To Hurricane-Proof New York, With A Ring Of Wetlands

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, there have been a flurry of ideas on how to deal with the prospect that storms of such magnitude may no longer be once-in-a-lifetime events but the most visible manifestation–if you’re not a polar bear–of the havoc wreaked by climate change.

Seawalls. Levees. The kinds of things the Army Corps of Engineers typically builds to protect low-lying places like New Orleans just aren’t feasible for a place like Manhattan, says Stephen Cassell, the cofounder of New York’s Architectural Research Office. “It’s hard to predict how bad climate change will be,” Cassell says, noting that Sandy’s devastating surge was nearly 14 feet, which wasn’t even the worst-case scenario. “What if we build a barrier and the surge goes beyond that?”

Yes Providence, what if the storm surge is higher than our storm surge barrier?


New York Post: Growing NY through smarter taxes

How might two-tiered taxation work? In New York, land and improvements in residential areas are subject to an 18.6 percent property tax.Thus, land with a taxable value of $10,000 would be taxed $1,860, and improvements with a similar taxable value of $10,000 would owe another $1,860, a total of $3,720. Under a two-tier system, the tax rate for land could jump by, say, 50 percent, while the rate for improvement could be halved.In that case, the owner would pay $2,790 in land taxes and $930 for improvements — keeping the total to $3,720.

But here’s the payoff: The owner’s tax bill under that scheme would climb another $2,790 if he purchased a second lot with a taxable value of $10,000 — but by only $930 if he used that money toward building.Thus, hoarding would be discouraged; development encouraged.

The two-tier property tax has a proven record of success. In 1979, Pittsburgh began taxing land at a rate six times higher than improvements. In the ensuing decade, building permits increased by 70.4 percent.

Via: Nesi’s Notes


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AS220 Mercantile Block Sneak Preview

AS220 Mercantile Block Sneak Preview
Sunday, June 6, 1pm-3pm
Enter at 131 Washington Street

AS220’s new live studios ar the Mercantile downtown Providence are expected to be ready by the October. If you are interested in a live space in this beautifully restored building, join us for our open house.

Tours, rental informtation and applications available.

More info

See also, how the Mercantile Building looked last November.

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