I-195 commission sets purchase price for Parcel 42 at $3.2M, Hope Point Tower project to move ahead

THE PROPOSED SITE plan for Hope Point, which passed a preliminary vote of the Interstate 195 Redevelopment District Commission. Some residents have voiced concern over the project and its effect on downtown Providence. / COURTESY THE FANE ORGANIZATION
THE PROPOSED SITE plan for Hope Point, which passed a preliminary vote of the Interstate 195 Redevelopment District Commission. Some residents have voiced concern over the project and its effect on downtown Providence. / COURTESY THE FANE ORGANIZATION

PROVIDENCE — The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission on Wednesday approved a non-binding agreement that sets the parameters for Jason Fane to purchase Parcel 42, a site near the Providence River that he wants to develop into a luxury residential tower.

The project, called Hope Point Tower, would include a building of up to 46 stories, divided into condos and apartments.

The design is being reworked, and will not resemble the images released earlier in 2017. What Fane wants to build, he told reporters following the meeting, is an iconic building that will redefine Providence. He did not release a rendering. The project is expected to be valued at $250 million, he said.

In order to purchase the land and build his tower, Fane, president of the New York-based Fane Organization, will have to obtain a series of approvals from city authorities, including the design of the structure and a zoning change that would authorize its height.

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The site is in a zone that caps building heights at 130 feet.

If he gets the approvals, Fane said the buyers and renters are there. Providence has an existing market and an emerging one for luxury units, Fane said. The size of the dwellings would vary in the building, in part depending on what the buyers of units would want. He said the building could accommodate about 408 units, with a full-length unit planned for the top floor and everything from studios to larger units in between.

“People want to live up in the sky,” he said.

In July, the I-195 commission gave the project preliminary approval, under a set of lengthy conditions. All of them still apply to the project. The action Wednesday is a non-binding agreement, setting the terms for the sale of the land. The proposed purchase price of $3,157,195 is for the northern portion of Parcel 42, which covers about 38,375 square-feet. Fane also will get a right-of-first-offer on the adjoining section of Parcel 42, which is about 21,600 square-feet.

The price for the northern parcel was determined based on negotiations, according to commission chairman Robert Davis, but is the equivalent of $15 per square-foot. If the developer opts to purchase the remainder of Parcel 42, that price would be $2 million, according to the term sheet.

The initial step of securing a proposed purchase price was sought by Fane, because he wanted to make sure that if he went through the considerable expense of a final design and obtaining city permission for the building, that he would not face a purchase price for the land that was unreasonable, according to Davis, who spoke after the meeting ended.

“He wanted assurances the purchase was going to work with his budget,” Davis said.

The term sheet sets out the deadlines for Fane to seek the city permissions for the building. Once completed, he would return to the I-195 commission, which has the authority to approve final design as well as building development incentives.

Fane has said previously he anticipated seeking about $15 million in redevelopment incentives for the tower. He said Wednesday he was still anticipating applying for them.

The building will be within walking distance of Brown University and Johnson & Wales University, as well as the Financial District of Providence. All of the new companies locating in Providence will hire employees, many of whom will come from out-of-state and will want luxurious apartments, he said.

“They’ll need a place to live,” Fane said.

As for his interest in the second section of Parcel 42, Fane said he wants to develop it as well.

“I think it’s a great location for a second tower.”

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at macdonald@pbn.com.