real estate

City approval of College Hill apartment plan challenged

COURTESY UNION STUDIO
AN APPEAL BY TWO COLLEGE HILL neighbors has put a temporary hold on Gilbane Development Co.'s plans for a 102-unit student apartment building on Thayer Street.
Posted 1/17/13

PROVIDENCE – Two College Hill neighbors are challenging city approval of Gilbane Development Co.’s proposed 102-unit apartment building at 257 Thayer St.

The appeal, from a Bowen Street resident and a trustee of the Avon Theater across the street from 257 Thayer, contend that the City Plan Commission overstepped its bounds and made procedural errors in granting preliminary plan approval for the project in December. Avon Theater management supports the construction project.

The appeal is scheduled to be heard by the Providence Zoning Board in early February.

A similar appeal of the project at an earlier stage of permitting was thrown out by the zoning board last year.

Gilbane hopes to break ground on the four-story building, which would replace nine existing buildings between Euclid, Meeting and Brook streets, this spring, but the appeal will need to be resolved before that can happen. The luxury apartments would be targeted to Brown University students.

Gilbane Development Co. Chairman and CEO Robert V. Gilbane said Thursday he believes the appeal is without merit.

The developer is negotiating a tax stabilization treaty with the city, and Gilbane said the project would not proceed until it is settled.

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