Fane Tower Gets Big Approval As Ordinance Committee Reverses Vote

Friday, November 09, 2018


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Fane Tower gets major approval

The Providence City Council’s Ordinance Committee reversed course and voted 3-1 with one abstention to approve the height variance on the 46-story Fane Tower.

The $300 million project is the largest private investment in the city of Providence since the Providence Place Mall in the 1990s.

One of the keys was the reversal of Chairman and lame duck Councilman Terry Hassett who had previously voted against the project. Also voting in favor of the project on Thursday night were Councilwomen  Jo-Ann Ryan and Carmen Castillo. Councilman Bryan Principe voted against and Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris refused to cast a vote, but did not recuse herself.

Council President David Salvatore, a full-time State House lobbyist for the RI Realtors is opposed to the Fane project.

The project now goes before the full Providence City Council. The Building Trade Unions are putting a full court press of council members to approve the project.

Mayor Jorge Elorza has been opposed to the site and the change in the height limitation. An Elorza veto would require a two-thirds vote to override.

In October, developer Jason Fane appeared on GoLocal LIVE where he spoke with GoLocal News Editor Kate Nagle about the latest on his 46-story tower proposal on the former 195 land, following the City Council ordinance hearing on Monday.

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If approved by the full council will Elorza veto the approval?

Fane addressed some of the issues the opposition has focused on, from the tower's potential impact on the real estate market, and more. 

"The local landlords who are worried about us as competition are basically saying we will be providing what people want to live in," said Fane. "Our effect on the competition will be a lot less than what they anticipate because Providence has 180,000 people and will have space for about 800 people an that would be distributed across the competition. And the population of Providence is growing party due to the government’s economic development programs and partly due to expansion of businesses and institutions that are already here."

"So it will actually be more than enough business for everybody but to the extent a particular landlord is having problems renting one of his apartments, I would advise him first look at the apartment and fix whatever’s wrong with it and if that doesn’t solve the problem take down the rent to what it really should be," said Fane.

Fane also talked about next steps in the process, talked about opponents who suggest he build the building elsewhere — or shorter — and that he “can’t do everything for everybody on every possible problem.” Fane encouraged people interested in living in the tower to reach out to him


Related Slideshow: Fane Unveils New Design for Tower


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