Commission OKs Crossroads R.I.’s proposed apartment complex for medically vulnerable homeless adults

THE PROVIDENCE CITY PLAN COMMISSION on Tuesday approved a complex providing 35 apartments to formerly homeless individuals with medical vulnerabilities at 371 Pine St. in Providence. / COURTESY CROSSROADS RHODE ISLAND

PROVIDENCE – The City Plan Commission approved initial plans for Crossroads Rhode Island’s apartment complex on Pine Street, which would provide housing for formerly homeless individuals with medical vulnerabilities.

Crossroads Rhode Island asked to combine the master and preliminary plan approval and to waive submission of state approvals at the preliminary plan stage, which was all granted unanimously by the commission during a meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

The developer is planning to demolish the existing building at 371 Pine St. and build a five-story building that will include commercial space on the ground floor and 35 units of affordable housing on the upper stories, all one-bedroom units and studios. This will be the state’s first permanent supportive apartments created specifically for medically vulnerable homeless adults.

“The development on Pine Street will have a life-changing impact for nearly three dozen medically vulnerable adults experiencing homelessness and will provide a model for future developments for this population statewide,” Karen Santilli, CEO of Crossroads Rhode Island, said in a statement announcing the project last month.

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The apartment complex will also include 2,500 square feet of office space on the first floor, which will be available for lease to behavioral health or other health providers. It will also include several amenities such as laundry facilities, common areas, a healing garden and parking. Residents of the apartments will also have access to 24/7 case management and other supports and services.

Crossroads previously said it is hoping to secure funding by fall 2023 and start construction by the end of the year, with a completion date in 2025. The budget is estimated at $16 million and Crossroads said funding for the project will come from multiple sources, including the R.I. Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp., the federal government, the city of Providence and private donors.

The project also received overwhelming support from the public on Tuesday, with multiple people speaking in favor of the development for its impact on the housing crisis and on vulnerable populations.

“We are in a housing crisis, we need all types of housing,” said Michael Gazdacko, chair of the commission. “This is a niche that is desperately in need. This is a really good project.”

During Tuesday’s meeting, the commission also unanimously approved the preliminary plan for a five-story, self-storage facility with 1,399 units at 50 Branch Ave. The applicant, Trunk Space LLC, is planning to partially demolish a portion of the existing building for the project and keep the front portion of the building.

The commission had previously approved the master plan for this project, granting a dimensional adjustment for the proposed height, which exceeds the 50-foot, four-story height limit of the C-3 zone, along with a design waiver and a dimensional adjustment for parking, where 28 parking spaces are required but 16 will be provided.

The commission was also scheduled to vote on the preliminary plan for a five-story, mixed-use building with 62 residential units and commercial space in the Fox Point neighborhood, but the item was continued.

Claudia Chiappa is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at 

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  1. Nice to house the homeless, but does it have to be the same new (not old) cheap, dull architecture though. I hope the sacrificed building at 271 Pine Street to be demolished isn’t a historic building. Developers nowadays are like the developments they develop nowadays; square. And we’re the ones who are imposed upon with their dull architecture.

  2. We all want interesting architecture and my question is why so many new residential buildings in Providence lack terraces/balconies. But to put this project in the proper perspective, it will replace an ugly, nondescript one story building with something way more attractive besides helping to alleviate the current housing crisis in the city.