Providence city council moves Fane tower project forward

Providence city council moves Fane tower project forward
Fane Tower Gets Big Approval As Ordinance Committee Reverses Vote
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A City Council committee Thursday night approved a zoning change that could clear the way for the controversial 46-story Fane Tower.

The Committee on Ordinances voted 3-1 to recommend approval of a text change requested by the developer of the proposed luxury apartment tower on former Route 195 land, according to Bill Kepner, City Council spokesman.

Some councilors argued that the $300 million investment for luxury living is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Providence. One the Fane organization promises will bring jobs and economic development.

It will now go to the full City Council for a vote where it will need two votes before the request by New York City developer Jason Fane is granted or denied, Kepner said.

The Fane Organization is asking the City Council for a zoning change. Current zoning allows for a 100-foot structure on the proposed plot of land, which is part of the 195 Redevelopment District.

The $300 million project is the largest private investment in the city of Providence since the Providence Place Mall in the 1990s.

It will be a catalyst for downtown and it will be a symbol to the rest of the country that Providence is moving ahead, said Dante Bellini, a spokesperson for New York Developer Jason Fane.

One of the keys was the reversal of Chairman and lame duck Councilman Terry Hassett who had previously voted against the project. Also voting in favor of the project on Thursday night were Councilwomen  Jo-Ann Ryan and Carmen Castillo. Councilman Bryan Principe voted against and Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris refused to cast a vote, but did not recuse herself.

Council President David Salvatore, a full-time State House lobbyist for the RI Realtors is opposed to the Fane project.

The committee voted 4-2, recommending zoning changes to accommodate the proposed 530-square foot Hope Tower along the Providence riverfront.

The project now goes before the full Providence City Council. The Building Trade Unions are putting a full court press of council members to approve the project.

There are frustrations along the way, but were here right now, and were gratified, and hopefully well prevail next week.

Mayor Jorge Elorza has been opposed to the site and the change in the height limitation. An Elorza veto would require a two-thirds vote to override.

In October, developer Jason Fane appeared on GoLocal LIVE where he spoke with GoLocal News Editor Kate Nagle about the latest on his 46-story tower proposal on the former 195 land, following the City Council ordinance hearing on Monday.

If were going to compromise on zoning, were comprising the structure of our city, Principe told NBC 10 News.

“The local landlords who are worried about us as competition are basically saying we will be providing what people want to live in,” said Fane. “Our effect on the competition will be a lot less than what they anticipate because Providence has 180,000 people and will have space for about 800 people an that would be distributed across the competition. And the population of Providence is growing party due to the government’s economic development programs and partly due to expansion of businesses and institutions that are already here.”

A controversial project in Providence took one step forward Thursday night during a Committee on Ordinances meeting.

“So it will actually be more than enough business for everybody but to the extent a particular landlord is having problems renting one of his apartments, I would advise him first look at the apartment and fix whatever’s wrong with it and if that doesn’t solve the problem take down the rent to what it really should be,” said Fane.

We love the city, but to build another huge version of the same thing is a mistake, said Carla Ricci.

Fane also talked about next steps in the process, talked about opponents who suggest he build the building elsewhere — or shorter — and that he “can’t do everything for everybody on every possible problem.” Fane encouraged people interested in living in the tower to reach out to him


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