NO To Fane Tower

The 195 Redevelopment District Commission’s own consultant is urging them to reject the latest version of Fane Tower. Among other problems, the new design could result in higher winds whipping through the adjacent park (which it will also be plunging into shadow). From the Providence Business News:

The Fane Organization is presenting the updated design for the “Hope Point Tower” on Wednesday, but the commission’s consultant, Tim Love of Utile Architecture and Planning, has submitted a memo asking the commission to delay approval “until and unless there are significant design revisions.”

New legal problems for Jason Fane? Time to lawyer up. Last October, New York Attorney General Letitia James (I am loving this woman) filed suit against the man and his related entities.

An investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) found that Mr. Fane and his real estate agents refused to accept Section 8 vouchers at his properties, in violation of New York’s housing laws against source of income discrimination.

More at The Ithaca Times, who also ran a profile of the man back in 2017: “You don’t know Jason Fane.” When asked about the Providence project at that time, he had this to say.

“We’ve changed the mental culture and self image of Providence with this building,” Fane said. “People didn’t see themselves, in Providence, of having that kind of building, even though they could afford it. The image wasn’t there, just as in Ithaca; it’s not their image. But as a result of my presenting it, they’ve come to like it.”

NO WE HAVE NOT! What an arrogant jerk this man is.

Fane presented his new design at a hearing Wednesday evening. According to WPRI News:

The design debate comes as the $3 million dollar sale of the old highway land that Fane wants is still pending, with a looming closing date of March 28, according to spokesperson Cara Cromwell.

The closing date has been pushed back repeatedly since the original 2019 purchase-and-sale agreement between Fane and the 195 Commission. The most recent delay was because of a court case challenging the tower’s height; Fane prevailed in the R.I. Supreme Court, and was given nine additional months to close on the sale.

The former chairman of the 195 Commission, Bob Davis, had said the commission would not close on the sale unless Fane had financing in place and a construction contract. Davis stepped down as chair last month.

Investors seem to be losing interest, and the economy has been through the wringer (who is going to rent and buy all these units?). Prediction: If this is allowed to go forward, he will run out of money halfway through and come back to the state for help. Currently looking out for the interests of the citizens of Rhode Island are House Speaker Shekarchi and Senate President Ruggerio who had this to say when the Supreme Court ruled against tower opponents:

In joint statement Thursday, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio and House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi said in part that they were “pleased with today’s Supreme Court ruling, which allows the Fane tower proposal to proceed,” adding that, “We are excited that this major private investment in our capital city can now move forward, creating jobs and needed housing, and bringing renewed vibrancy to this downtown area.”

The Jewelry District Association urges their members to attend.

“Fane is back, with more apartments, fewer parking spaces and more outright gall!” the email declared. “Back with a bad concept, a bad design, in a bad location. Help us put a stop to the Fane tower for good!”


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