Proposed Towers Would Scrape Way Too Much Sky

We’ve now had a day to consider the supersized residential skyscrapers (see below) being proposed for the I-195 District Redevelopment District. At 55 stories, the tallest of the three towers would be twice the height of the Superman building, and a poke-in-the-eye from every vantage point. (ProJo 11.15.16) I am hardly alone in thinking there are issues of scale here. And feasibility.

Jason Fane, president of The Fane Organization, told the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission that he wants to build perhaps 1 million square feet, or more, on a one-acre parcel between Dyer Street and the intended park space that’s west of the Providence River. Fane said he’d probably build in phases.

Phase 1? Line up a gazillion tenants. I suggest we proceed very carefully with these New York developers lest we end up looking like those Chinese ghost cities. Not all cranes bring good luck and this is not mid-town Manhattan.

A follow up to this story appeared in today’s Providence Journal — “Pie in the Sky” — with a comprehensive discussion of the plan and the response from various interested parties and government officials (and a very helpful map). City Council President Luis Aponte displays a fair amount of sophistication and sensitivity regarding the architectural fabric of our cityscape;

“If you look at it in a rendering without any context, it looks like it could be in Malaysia or Dubai, but in the context of the city, it looks bad,” Aponte said in an interview. “Twenty-five years from now, when that land has been completely developed and re-knit back into the city, it should be seamless. It does not have to all look the same, but it should be seamless and should not look like a detached part of the city.”

This plan seems overly optimistic to say the least. Let’s not be bamboozled by another enthusiastic dreamer making unrealistic promises. Who exactly is going to occupy all these units?

*The good news is that work has started on the old highway piers for the pedestrian bridge that will cross from South Water Street over to the new park, the Jewelry District, the Brown Medical School, etc.


1 thought on “Proposed Towers Would Scrape Way Too Much Sky”

  1. Maybe they will be occupied by all those Canadians who now want to move to the US because Donald Thump is President, lol.

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