The Fane tower is dead. This news came to me just a minute ago, and I have interrupted my attention to a Zoom forum of the Classical Planning Institute in order to bring the news to you. In fact, there is not much detail to the report from GoLocalProv.com, written by its Business Team, but here it is:
Developer Jason Fane announced Friday that he will no longer be proceeding with the development of the Fane Tower — which would have been the tallest structure in the city’s history. He first proposed this project six years ago.
“I came to Providence with a vision for a great and iconic project that would provide much-needed housing, quality jobs, and revenue for local government and have worked long and hard to make it a reality,” said Fane Organization President Jason Fane.
“However, due to recent risk factors outside of my control, it is no longer feasible to move forward with this project. I wish the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission, the City of Providence, and the State of Rhode Island success with their plans for further development in the I-195 District.”
As the team says, this is a developing story. Most of Providence will be rejoicing with this news. I certainly am. Advice to the I-195 District Redevelopment Commission: Listen to the people. Period.
(Providence Business News has a more comprehensive story, but the link cannot be made with WordPress’s new Jetpack program, which its bloggers have been forced to adopt.)
This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred.
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In a parallel universe ,light years from here ,the whole Fane Tower thing is just another episode of the “Simpsons”.
Yes, over $300 In construction spending, hundreds of new middle-high income taxpayers, and more population density to an area that needs it.
Sounds like a cartoon to me. Oh, wrong – that would be the naysayers who hurt the city.
What a fabulous investment in our city! All those wise investors who invested their valuable time protesting the construction of an ugly supersized building that would have made our city poorer.
A statement of zero facts.
Over 400 taxpayers investing in the city…fueling further growth and sending a positive signal to more developers; that’s what was lost.
From the people who gave us “cooler and warmer” comes the new slogan we need to send to investors worldwide ;“uglier and wealthier”. We build ugly buildings in our beautiful city and we get wealthier.
Weird, amateurish. and out of touch. Enough.
Tell us how ugly buildings make a city wealthier, maybe use Pawtucket as an example. Tell us of the merits of accepting mediocrity. Perhaps tell us of the beauty of the Fane Tower. Maybe it is the work of some reincarnated Michelangelo.
Ding dong the witch is dead
The “witch” is all those who opposed this; destroying a huge private investment in the city. Little leaguers, small town residents, and parochial pukes.
What a disgrace!
Congratulations, David!.. We fought the good fight. Sadly, time was wasted. Fane’s arrogance prevented a substantial and significant development
I think that Jason Fane recognized, Steve, that he would have too few buyers or renters or investors to make a go of the building. So he pulled the plug. And yes, a lot of opposition was key to suppressing interest in the building by both potential residents and investors. And that was good. It was the public expressing its own interests and, by extension, its interest in the city. It was a bad idea, easily recognized as such by all who were concerned.
1) Fane did not conclude anything other than after a disgraceful delay caused by unwarranted actions by a tiny group and idiotic “concerns” by the I195 consultant; that the costs had skyrocketed to the point of making it untenable.
3) The market is there – Providence is the 7th hottest real estate market in the nation and the migration ratio for PVD – BOS is 4 to 1 in Providence’s favor!
2) The objections were based on a false narrative of “too tall, too much, and too ugly”. Providence has been tall since the 1920s. I have traveled to 70 American cities and guess what – they change, they have modern sections of a downtown (look at the building directly across the street from Parcel 42 !!) and more historic ones. That is reasonable and appropriate.
We are not Rome…even Rome has a modern area!
Pawtucket already is the grownup modern area of Providence. It has been on the cutting edge of very grownup modern architecture for some time. With Jason Fane’s kind of development it could be the poster city for that United Nations Agenda 21 type of city where everyone gets pig piled in high rise housing units. Who is to say that that is not the future of the American city. Like Leon Krier says, give people a choice; let people choose to live in a beautiful traditional city like Providence, or let them live in an ugly modern city like Pawtucket.
1. Pawtucket is just one of the 58 cities and towns in the Providence Metropolitan Area; one of its core suburbs. It is not remotely like Providence
2. Providence is approximately three times bigger, far exceeding it in population, activity, large buildings, classic architecture, and history – Pawtucket is not worthy of any comparison with Providence in any regard
3. The choice is not ever between any city in the metro and Providence – it is between Boston, New York, and Providence – that’s who is moving here
4. High rise housing units is exactly what big cities do – that does not in any way detract from a beautiful traditional city like Providence – with appropriate (not extreme) design controls in appropriate districts of the city’s downtown
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The wrong building in the wrong place at the wrong time. If there was a market for that many luxury apartments in Providence, the penthouse in the Residences atop the Omni wouldn’t still be unsold after nearly 20 years.
The arrogance was by the leader of the Jewelry District Association, a band of a tiny minority of the people of Providence, small town thinkers, and a weak Mayir and I195 Commission.
Had this sailed through in year one or two when the market was ripe, that tower would be done and gracing the city.
Instead, another embarrassment and a horrible message to any grand vision developer.
What an amateur clown show. A major loss for a great city.
You are wrong, Steve. Often you have an interesting and useful perspective and bring much intelligence to the debate on this blog. But here you are fixated on I’m not quite sure what. But if citizens here in Providence had risen up in righteous anger to oppose the Old Stone Square, the GTECH building and other abominations, ther city would not be at risk of losing its historical character, the thing that is responsible for its being a great city. It is not just a matter of tall buildings. Washington, D.C., is a great city without benefit of tall buildings, and now some idiots there want to get ride of its height limit. Bad!
For Providence to grow, it must welcome change…that simple. It already is tall, now it has to grow up.
I am not wrong in any way.
A tiny crowd destroyed a $300,000,000 investment, major employment for years, tax revenue, sales tax revenue, population growth and density and resident spending, income tax revenue, and developmental momentum.
The Hope Point tower was never in the old GTECH building design class…it was far better. Parcel 42 sits across the street from a modern glass building!
It is true that DC is a good city without tall buildings; but it is not Providence. Providence history involves tall buildings since the 1900s, a banking and corporate center, the core of the second largest metro in New England, and a potentially serious competitor to that place 50 miles north in grabbing major developments.
This is not a simulation game to keep it as the American “Eternal City”…it needs to grow up in today’s era…while respecting its architectural heritage.
A disgusting display of stupidity and egocentric arrogance by a tiny minority of small town NIMBYs, a horrible I195 Commission, and other people delaying this until it became infeasible. What a message and embarrassment !!!
If developers who want to build here get the message that they must respect the city’s historical character, Steve, then untold good will be done in the process of creating a glorious future for Providence. If fewer bad developers who do not understand Providence mean slower development here, that would be a good thing!
Respecting the city’s character is certainly appropriate. What is not is the vicious attacks and a law suit by a tiny minority of the people of Providence (representing less than .005% of its population) – in defiance of City Council and a woke consultant that delayed construction by three years!
Pure destructive behavior. The message is already out – it the city of “no”.