Cornish tapped to convert Superman building to apartments

PROVIDENCE DEVELOPER CORNISH ASSOCIATES has been hired to study the potential of turning the iconic 1927 Industrial National Trust building into residential units. / PBN FILE PHOTO
PROVIDENCE DEVELOPER CORNISH ASSOCIATES has been hired to study the potential of turning the iconic 1927 Industrial National Trust building into residential units. / PBN FILE PHOTO
PROVIDENCE - Cornish Associates has been hired to redevelop the Industrial Trust Tower at 111 Westminster St. in downtown Providence and turn the city’s tallest building into apartments, Cornish president and CEO Arnold “Buff” Chace Jr. said Tuesday. The owner of the tower, High Rock Westminster LLC, picked Cornish to reinvent the property, known locally…

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5 COMMENTS

  1. “From my perspective as a downtown person, 200 to 300 units of housing downtown is just what the doctor ordered. We need more of that and less office to have downtown…” – Buff Chace.

    If we keep developing our urban economic and business centers into luxury apartments we’ll have nothing to live by and no jobs to go to. It is not just housing that makes for a thriving urban center, but JOBS and third places of social activity (cafes, shops, restaurants, theaters, clubs, etc.).

    Furthermore and presumably, who are all these people who can afford to live downtown, still in the nation’s state of second highest unemployment? Most Rhode Islanders and Providencians can not. We need to create industry here with a balance of housing and places of social activity. What happened to relocating state offices or converting the building into a more publicly viable space? This building is too iconic and centrally located to be put to use as someones loft or cul de sac in the sky.

    There are a number of buildings downtown (i.e. The Lapham Building at Westminster and Mathewson Streets, former Providence Journal Building at 60 Eddy Street and the adjacent Kresge Building to name a few) that would be better suited for apartment conversion and when I say apartments I mean something safe and inexpensive – studio, 1 and 2 bedrooms; not $2000 for 2000 sq. ft. loft that most who’d bring life to downtown can’t even afford – like artists, entrepreneurs and the so called “young professionals” whom have all left this city-state because of the lack of jobs, opportunity and reasonable housing.

    Although, most of us have high hopes for Providence we seem to keep pressing forward with policy and agenda which ultimately sets us back and keeps us from competing with comparable markets. Mr. Chace has done much for our little city and I’m sure we share the similar success for it, but there has to be more to offer than converting every office and industrial building into apartments or parking lots.