Greater City Providence

5-story building proposed for vacant lot near the Hurricane Barrier by Churchill & Banks

Rendering of Building proposed for 580 South Main Street by ZDS

Developer Churchill & Banks made a pre-application presentation to the Downtown Design Review Committee on Monday for a planned building at 580 South Water Street.

As reported in Providence Business News, the building would be 5-stories tall, feature parking on the ground floor and commercial space facing Tockwotton Street. The remaining floors would contain 44 luxury condominium units.

Ground floor plan

South Water Street elevation

As this was a pre-application presentation, the Committee made no ruling on the project. The arrangement of the parking on the ground level would require a waiver however. There needs to be a separated use between ground-floor parking and an A-street. This plan simply has a blank wall facing South Water Street with the parking behind it.

We should expect a more developed formal proposal to be presented to DRC at a future date.

[alert type=”success”] View full plans submitted to the Downtown Design Review Committee[/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.


  • Does anyone save a cranky blog commenter ever wonder how much less condos like that would cost if they did not include indoor parking? That is a good area to live without a car and would be even nicer if the neighbors were not driving to and fro either. Besides, the supermarket parking across the street will be empty at night when residents need to park. Think, people!

    The revenue optimizing capitalist thing to do would be “Parking available Separately” but they can not imagine anything except socialized parking, the more the better.

  • YES! This area needs to be built up and I think it would be a a nice addition. The height does not exceed the max so that’s a good thing. The design is ok – I do like the glass at the corner – but I know it will change considerably as it moves through the design process review. BUILD IT!!

  • Whatever happened to Richard Baccarri’s project approved a couple years ago for the 195 parcel next door?

  • To this proposal, small and far too short, but better than an empty lot.
    To Dana’s question…yes, where is that Bacarri proposal?

  • I agree – I wouldn’t object to it going a floor (or two) higher at all!

  • Guys, +1/2 floors higher? This needs to be many floors higher… why wouldn’t they take advantage of bay views over the highway? Block out the highway noise by creating that canyon effect of taller buildings blocking the interstate. Building a similarly tall structure on the empty lot across the street would help, as well.

    They should push this to 10 stories, so a solid 6 floors have legitimate unobstructed bay views. This is promising though, because Providence needs new (for sale) condominiums ASAP. This would be the first thing that travelers from the East Bay, South Coast, or Cape see on their approach to Providence… it would also be the first thing boaters see coming into the city… make it count.

    Build taller buildings.

  • All this talk of “luxury” condos everywhere, where are all the people who can afford it? And how did they built housing for working families a century + ago, like the triple deckers, but nobody can seem to do it now?
    Also, a blank wall behind parking on a major street is a design feature that should have to go unless the goal is to make walking around that neighborhood as ugly as possible to deter not driving.

  • There must be a need for luxury condos. I’m sure there’s been plenty of market analysis done. If we want high-end businesses and companies to come to Providence, then their employees need high-end residential development. I think its also an attempt to zero in on those who live in Boston and would rather commute and live in Providence.

  • The word “luxury” is thrown around too often. What we are talking about are reasonably (for current market) priced for-sale condominiums ($350-500K). There are plenty of folks that are currently looking or would relocate to Providence if they could buy into a new build, that can afford that. 30 year mortgage on a $400K condo would be $1,900, plus say $600/mo for property tax so $2,500/mo. A couple both working, contributing 25% of their income to mortgage and tax would have to make $120K together per year to afford a $400K “luxury” condo. There are plenty of folks that can afford that. The anti-condo argument on the basis of buyers not being there is often recited and very hollow.

    We just need more units downtown in general, affordable / luxury / ultra luxury / penthouse… whatever. There is a housing crisis.

  • To piggyback on the last comment, the sales of condos in RI has far outpaced the sales of standalone single-family homes over the past few years.

    To echo some other comments, I want a building here, I want it to be in the neighborhood of 10 stories, I hate the blank wall, I hate that parking is included de facto, I hate the boring cut-and-paste design that looks straight out of the Carpionato playbook, and I hope the lot isn’t vacant for much longer.

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