Providence, RI – Tonight, city councilors passed on a vote of 11 to 2 (with one councilor abstaining and one absent) a 30-year tax stabilization agreement (TSA) ordinance between the city and High Rock Westminster Street LLC, the owner of 111 Westminster Street (also known as the Superman building). Councilors also approved on a vote of 13 to 1 final passage of a 20-year tax stabilization agreement ordinance for 203 Westminster Street (the old Providence Journal building and Kresge’s department store next to city hall). “Hive Life” will encompass some 124 apartments.
“The votes tonight passing tax stabilization agreements for two iconic buildings has the potential to change the landscape downtown into a safer, cleaner, healthier neighborhood environment,” said Council President John Igliozzi (Ward 7). “I’m also proud the Council is helping preserve these historical buildings through public-private partnerships between the developers, the city, and the state. We should all be proud of the positive quality of life impact this will have on the capital city for decades to come.”
The $223 million Superman building project includes the City of Providence, the Providence City Council, the State of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, Rhode Island Foundation, and Rhode Island Housing. The proposal is expected to create 1,600 construction jobs, with a goal of hiring 20% minority and women-owned businesses. Plans call for 285 residential apartments, with 20% of the units deed restricted as affordable. The building owner has committed to a mix of retail and community space in the Grand Banking Hall, opening the building’s doors to all. A copy of the Superman agreement is posted here.
“I am proud of my Council colleagues. Our city’s future is brighter because of what we did here this evening,” said Councilwoman and Finance Committee Chair Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5). “This legislation is not just about one building, this legislation is about re-developing our capital city. Moreover, we cannot talk about revitalizing our state’s economy when our capital city is abandoned and shuttered. The Superman will be redeveloped, reoccupied and relighted to shine as a beacon to the state, region and country that Providence is back and that our best days are ahead of us.”
The TSA for the former Providence Journal building can be seen here.
Council calls on Rhode Island Energy to repair damage to roadways
Tonight, the Council also passed Resolution 38821, highlighting the failure of Rhode Island Energy (formerly National Grid) to adequately repair the city’s streets. Councilman Michael Correia (Ward 6) sponsored the legislation, citing significant damage to the roads in his community following maintenance and construction work. “Rhode Island Energy has failed to return our roads to preconstruction condition time and time again,” said Councilman Correia, “Large stretches of roadways in my neighborhood have significant damage from these utility companies, and it’s time we hold them accountable.” The resolution asks the Department of Public Works to stop issuing work permits to Rhode Island Energy until the company repairs the damage they have caused to streets across the city.
Council Seeks removal of ‘hazardous’ bike lanes
The Council passed Resolution 38822 requesting the Director of Public Works removes bike lanes from Delaine Street to Aleppo Street. Councilman Michael Correia (Ward 6) sponsored the resolution, referring to the stretch of road as a public safety hazard. “While bike lanes are a valuable part of our city infrastructure, in this particular area they pose a risk to both drivers and bike riders,” said Councilman Correia, “The safety posts themselves have already been partially destroyed, and further damage to the roads seems inevitable.” The resolution now goes to the Director of Public Works, Leo Perrotta.