NEW: Prov Preservation Society Calls for City Council to Uphold Elorza’s Fane Tower Veto

Monday, December 10, 2018


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Brent Runyon of the Providence Preservation Society

Providence Preservation Society Executive Director Brent Runyon sent a letter to Mayor Jorge Elorza and the Providence City Council asking the City Council to uphold Elorza’s veto of Fane Tower.

As GoLocalProv reported on Friday, there is a special meeting scheduled for Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., and the majority of the council believes they have the votes to override Elorza’s veto of the variance that would allow the $300 million Fane Tower to move forward. 

The letter is also signed by many of the biggest local developers.

According to sources, Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris is expected to vote for the override. 

The move comes after Elorza vetoed the height variance which had been approved by the City Council, in a Friday afternoon move on November 30 at end of day

Read the Email Below

Dear Mayor Elorza and City Council:

As stakeholders in this community, we support Mayor Elorza’s decision to veto the Fane Tower. Last week, the Providence Journal Editorial Board published an insulting and vitriolic commentary against Mayor Elorza’s veto of the Fane zoning petition, calling it “idiotic." It is regrettable that the Journal’s editorial belittles the Mayor for standing up for the best interest of Providence over the narrow, personal interest of one developer. We believe the Mayor made a wise decision. Here's why:

Changing the rules after the City Council adopted both the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Plan in 2014 signals that rules don't matter. This change is spot zoning being granted to a single developer. It is critical to developers and investment partners that guidelines are predictable and remain consistent throughout the build-out of an area. Drastically changing the rules midstream for one developer introduces doubt and uncertainty for both current and prospective developers. 

A critical component of any good development is respecting the fabric of the neighborhood. With ten neighborhood groups and other organizations spread across eight city wards standing strongly opposed to this project, the Mayor has chosen to listen to the people he represents. This is exactly what he was elected to do. We only hope that the City Council will choose to do the same: listen to the people they were elected to serve rather than bowing to the demands of State House leaders and one unproven developer. 

Finally, The Fane Organization has not demonstrated they have the financial capacity to develop this tower. The I-195 Commission’s independent study identifies a funding gap of approximately $40-50 million, likely requiring a state or city subsidy far exceeding any existing state program, and needing legislative approval. Further, there has been no market study conducted to indicate a viable demand for $4,000 to $6,000 per month apartments. Market studies have been required for other developments in this District, why not this one?

The Journal has chosen to mock our broad coalition on numerous occasions by labeling us as B.A.N.A.N.A.s (“Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything”). This label could not be further from the truth. As a collective group, we represent not only hundreds of millions of dollars in development in the city, but also the culturally diverse and vibrant neighborhoods that make Providence the wonderful place it is. Significantly, that development has happened while abiding by the community drafted zoning rules adopted by the City Council and the Administration. We, as a community, have worked hard to make Providence the place we all love.

Providence is a unique, world-class city. It is our strong hope that the Providence City Council will uphold the Mayor’s veto and preserve Providence’s integrity.

Providence Preservation Society

Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy

Building Bridges Providence

College Hill Neighborhood Association

Downtown Neighborhood Association

Elmwood Neighborhood Association

Fox Point Neighborhood Association

Jewelry District Association

Mile of History Association

Summit Neighborhood Association

West Broadway Neighborhood Association

Washington Park Association


Buff Chace, Cornish Associates

Bert Crenca, Artist Founder of AS220

BJ Dupre, The Armory Revival Company

Jordan Durham, D+P Real Estate

Richard Galvin, CV Properties LLC

Ogden Hunnewell, Nordblom Companies

Jim Hughes, Boston Andes Capital, LLC

Matthew T. Marcello, Downtown Property Owner

Tony Thomas, The Foundry Associates, LP

Mark Van Noppen, The Armory Revival Company


Thank you,


Related Slideshow: Fane Tower By the Number, November 29, 2018

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How many stories tall will the Fane Tower be?  


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How tall from ground to top of structure? 

495 feet

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How many restaurants are planned to be located at the project?


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How much parking on site below and above ground?  

+/-300 spaces

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How many units in the skyscraper?


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How many condos in the Tower? 



IMAGE: Fane's Toronto project

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Will the Fane Tower have anything on the rooftop?  

Yes. But, the developer has not determined how the rooftop will be developed


IMAGE: Fane's Toronto project

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How many estimated residents will live at the property?  



IMAGE: Fane's Toronto project

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What is the cost of the project? 

The development budget is $300 million, but the construction cost is expected to increase.

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How large is the base of the property estimated to be?  

35,000 square feet

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How much retail will be on the property?  

12,000 square feet

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How long will construction take?

3 years

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How many construction jobs will be created?

1,200 to 1,500

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We expect to provide 30 plus amenities. Potentially tennis in the park. 


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