Another Downtown Demo Pending

UPDATE: The DRC took a relatively strong stand last night, refusing for the time being to grant the demolition request, and demanding that the developer figure out how to save the facade and re-open the sidewalk.

ORIGINAL 11/4: Jef gives us a heads-up that the project that’s left a 4-year-old cavity in the financial district, ever promising that shiny skyscraper at right, now seeks another victim:

Next Monday, November 9th, the Downcity Design Review Committee will be considering a request by 110 Providence Owner, LLC to demolition the remaining facade at 35 Weybosset Street. The facade was to be incorporated into the proposed OneTen Westminster Street residential tower (which when proposed, nearly 5 years ago, would have been the tallest building in Rhode Island).

And, yes, the expected outcome is another parking lot.

8 thoughts on “Another Downtown Demo Pending”

  1. Another lot! I always have trouble finding a space to park my bike. Kudos to all involved.

  2. David, it is really weird when you look at the most recent development cycle. We saw plenty of renovations, Hotel Providence, Dreyfus, Hampton Inn, Rising Sun… We saw a bunch of new construction on vacant parcels GTECH, Westin II, Waterplace, BCBS, Capitol Dorms… But nothing developed where buildings were torn down to make way for something new. The conspiracy theorist in me can’t believe that this is simply coincidence, though I try to tell the conspiracy theorist in me to be quiet.

    As for who is and is not to blame for the economic collapse, the OneTen project was among the first proposed in the most recent boom years. Most of what we actually saw developed or redeveloped came after OneTen was proposed. They had plenty of time in the ‘good’ years to come up with a viable plan and were unable or unwilling to do so.

    We have a couple problems here as I see it when it comes to demos. One, there is no stick. There’s a carrot, “you can tear this down if you build something.” But no stick, “if your plans fall through, we’ll whack you with ‘x,’ so before you demo, be sure you’re ready to build or to deal with ‘x.'”

    Second, parking lots are an allowed and pretty much automatic get, when these plans fall through. If parking was not an allowed use (“temporary” or no), then developers would also have reason to pause before demo’ing. I can’t think of anyplace where a “temporary” parking lot was actually, temporary. No one’s temporary use has been rescinded.

  3. The problem is that the developers aren’t held accountable at all, and that we let the surface parking thing happen so easily that most of the can be sure of increased income after they tear the structures down. As far as I can tell, not a single one of the half-dozen prominent demos of the last few years actually yielded the promised project. (New Japan/ToTTs/Cuban, 110, Pub Safety, produce warehouse, etc. At least Buff’s turned the Travelers Aid space into something better than a parking lot.)

  4. i’m no big fan of cicilline, but i doubt he’s responsible for the nationwide economic downturn that has knocked the legs out from under development plans in providence

    very disappointed with this outcome though not surprised in the least

  5. Has DRC ever *not* authorised a demo request?

    If this goes through as described above, then I’m going to file one to replace Thom’s house with a Dairy Queen.

  6. That is so sad. That was a beautiful building. Even the facade, although clearly not in great shape, is preferable to a hole. Now they want to knock down what little is left of a historic 200 year old building and pave the hole. Another surface parking lot. Whoopie. Pathetic leadership, Mayor Cicilline!

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