Parcel 42 – Fane Tower

Fane Tower rendering

At the May 15th City Plan Commission (CPC) hearing, the board voted to deny a recommendation to City Council regarding Fane’s petition for THREE changes to the Zoning Ordinance and ONE change to the Zoning Map of the City of Providence to allow his tower proposal to move forward.

In a 5-2 vote, the CPC found that the proposed changes are not in compliance with the comprehensive plan. See this ProJo article for a summary of the hearing.

Over the course of two CPC public hearings (4/25 and 5/15), 28 individuals spoke in opposition of the proposed Fane Tower and 16, mostly labor representatives, voiced support. Comments were also submitted to the CPC via email and letter. Thank you to all of you who spoke up and wrote in. Your voices were heard by the commissioners!

NEXT STEP: We expect the Fane Tower proposal to appear before City Council or the Ordinance Committee for approval without a recommendation from CPC, and we will notify you once this date is confirmed.

 

CALL TO ACTION:

We urge you to contact your councilperson to:

  • Ask how he/she will vote on this issue
  • Voice your opposition to this project and its non-compliance with the comprehensive plan
  • Cite points in PPS’s letter of opposition.

Finally, you can make a financial contribution to the cause! A campaign like this requires attorneys and expert witnesses. Help us to underwrite these services and donate now.

 

Previously…

A proposal is winding its way through the legal processes necessary to receive approval to build a 30- to 46-story residential tower on Providence’s riverfront. Read below for more on this and refer to the letter (2018 04 Parcel 42 Letter) we sent to elected and appointed decision-makers.

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD. Visit this link to see more about the process, what meetings to attend, and who to contact.

The Providence Preservation Society has grave concerns about this proposal, which is to be sited on the northern portion of Parcel 42 (and part of P4 – a planned public park) in the I-195 Redevelopment District. This proposal is currently known as Hope Point Tower, but we believe it will decrease HOPE for Providence if our elected leaders allow it to be built on that location.

This proposal fails to meet existing development and design guidelines set forth by the City and the State. It is wrong for Providence.

This proposal, which has been shown to be financially unfeasible, is diverting time and resources from the construction and redevelopment that Providence is currently experiencing. It is distracting from key issues of economic growth, job creation, affordable housing, and long-term environmental sustainability.

Why are we spending time on this when deserving and realistic projects can’t secure the funding or attention they need? There are more than 60 projects awaiting historic tax credits, but the General Assembly doesn’t support that type of incentive.

We find that this application for a tower on Parcel 42 defies universal urban planning and preservation principles, namely:

It requires SPOT ZONING. The current maximum height is 130’, per the 2014 zoning ordinance. Spot zoning gives preferential treatment to an applicant seeking a use or form wholly at odds with a city’s zoning ordinance. It also sets a poor precedent and could open the floodgates to other projects in every neighborhood in Providence. If the City Council approves a change in zoning for this single parcel, they are prioritizing a single out-of-state developer over the agency and intent of the people of this city.

The SCALE is wrong. The scale that has developed organically in Providence over the past three centuries, and which is one of the city’s best attributes, would be compromised and adversely affected. It will overwhelm the park and riverfront, public amenities we have invested in developing over the past several decades.

It does not benefit the life of the STREETSCAPE. The planned six-story parking podium, in this location, is detrimental to an active and enjoyable streetscape

What is the PUBLIC BENEFIT associated with such a SUBSIDY? The public is asked to give this developer tax incentives (ReBuild RI, Tax Stabilization, Sales Tax Abatement, etc.) yet beyond three years of construction jobs, what is the benefit to the public?

PPS supports appropriate, well-planned, and realistic new development. This type of development should comply with publicly determined zoning. New development should contribute to an active and enjoyable streetscape. New development should have significant public benefit. This proposal does none of these things.

We call on Mayor Elorza, the Providence City Council, Governor Raimondo, and our elected leaders in the General Assembly to reject this proposal and to redirect their energies toward long-lasting job creation, appropriate new development, and redevelopment of cherished icons such as the Industrial Trust Building and the Cranston Street Armory, among others.

 

 

© 2018 Providence Preservation Society. All rights reserved.