Greater City Providence

Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – March 13, 2017

[alert type=”muted” close=”false” heading=”Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting”]Notice of Regular Meeting
Monday, March 13, 2017 4:45pm
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903[/alert]


Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Meeting Minutes of 1/9/17

New Business

View of proposed building as seen from the corner of Washington and Mathewson Streets (Cube3 Architects)

1. DRC Application No. 17.07: 66 Fountain Street and 78 Fountain Street (commercial building and parking lot) – Public Hearing – The subject of the hearing will be an application by 78 Fountain JV Owner LLC, to demolish the existing structure located at 66 Fountain Street, and to construct a new 6?story, mixed?use building on the site at 78 Fountain Street. The applicant is requesting a Downtown District Demolition Waiver (Zoning Ordinance Section 1907.2), and a waiver from Zoning Ordinance Section 606.E.1 Building Facades/Ground Floor Transparency. At the conclusion of the hearing, the DDRC will take action with respect to these items.

2. DRC Application No. 17.08: 150 Empire Street (Providence Public Library) – Public Hearing The subject of the hearing will be an application by the Providence Public Library, requesting waivers from Zoning Ordinance Sections 1605.C, Flashing or Animated Signs, 1607.D.2, Electronic Messaging Signs, and 1607.K.2, Wall Signs, which limits the square footage of wall signs in the D?1 Zone. As per Section 1601.D, the DDRC is authorized to grant waivers to sign regulations as part of their review and approval. The applicant is proposing to install an animated LED and mesh screen system to the exterior of the building located at 150 Empire Street, Providence, RI.


[alert type=”muted”]Agenda [/alert] [alert type=”warning”]Full disclosure: I work for one of the companies that is presenting item No. 17.07, 78 Fountain Street.[/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.


  • The building between Fountain & Washington is the most exciting development project in a while in my opinion. To fill in a huge gaping hole in the downtown core is going to be great!

  • What is the timeline of this project? Will they break ground before the Fall 2017?

    It would be nice to see URI double down on its presence in Providence. If each University has a sphere of influence — Washington Street is surely URI’s. It’d be nice to see URI relocate some graduate programs to Providence and invest in some graduate apartments downtown.

  • 78 Fountain Street was given preliminary design approval, it is expected to be back next month for final approval.

    The Library was continued until next month.

  • This is a pretty building and exciting project. Surprised more people haven’t commented on this

  • This is miserably bad. I appreciate the sentiment of filling the gaps in Providence but this is just horrible design. Please do better for providence.

  • I think this is a great fit. Will it win any originality awards? No. Does it seamlessly fit into the neighborhood? Absolutely.
    This is a handsome structure that fits its context, while contributing two greatly needed elements, more people and a supermarket. So long as the materials are of high quality, I think the building is just about perfect for its location and size. This gets a solid A from me.

  • I believe it’s for great for that part of the city. The architecture works well with the early 20th century buildings in the area.

  • This rendering looks to have taken in many of the existing heights and lines currently found downtown and I am so pleased! Looks to be a good fit on a rather large block of empty land. So excited!

  • This building plus the new hotel on the Fogarty lot may renew my faith in downtown Providence. Keep us posted as always!

  • Hi Jef,

    I am a Grad student at RISD from the Adaptive Reuse program and I would like to use this building for my thesis.

    Could you please let me know if by any chance you know where can I found floor plans or any architecture drawings for this site.


  • This project isn’t really adaptive re-use, unless you’re talking about re-use for a parking lot. This is new construction.

  • Hi Jef, the Coffee King building – 66 Fountain Street was just demolished. Does this mean construction will begin soon on this project?

  • This is exciting. How many apartment units will be in this project? How many ground floor retail units?

  • It looks like construction has either begun or is getting ready to start. I was in downtown over the weekend, and this whole parcel is fenced off, Jersey barriers are in place on Mathewson St, and earthmoving equipment is place.

Providence, RI
Partly Cloudy
5:10 am8:23 pm EDT
Feels like: 90°F
Wind: 10mph SW
Humidity: 60%
Pressure: 30.31"Hg
UV index: 6
93°F / 70°F
88°F / 64°F
82°F / 66°F