Fane Organization gains extension to complete final design, application for city tax incentives

THE DEVELOPER of the Hope Point tower and the I-195 District Commission have reached a new deadline for the city tax incentive application. / COURTESY THE FANE ORGANIZATION
THE DEVELOPER of the Hope Point tower and the I-195 District Commission have reached a new deadline for the city tax incentive application. / COURTESY THE FANE ORGANIZATION

PROVIDENCE – The Fane Organization has received a one-month extension to file a request for city property tax incentives, ending a recent back-and-forth in letters between the development group proposing a downtown luxury skyscraper and the The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission.

The deadline extension is the second for the tax stabilization agreement application. Originally, under the purchase and sale signed in January for the riverfront parcel, which the I-195 district owns, the commission and Fane agreed to a deadline of June 30. The deadline was then moved again, to Wednesday.

The new deadline is Sept. 6.

The project is known as the Hope Point tower, which would place a luxury condominium building of 46 stories on Parcel 42 in the I-195 district. The parcel overlooks the Providence River, a new pedestrian bridge to the East Side and a park nearing completion.

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The Fane Organization, which is led by Jason Fane, had sought a new reduction in fees associated with the development review but the commission refused. According to the letters, Fane sought to reduce the non-refundable deposit to the commission from $250,000 to $1,000. Under the terms of the purchase and sale agreement, the $250,000 is due once all rezoning litigation over the parcel is resolved.

The amount is half of what was originally proposed in the first purchase and sale agreement, which guides the purchase of the parcel and the development timeline. The original deposit was supposed to be $500,000. The commission and Fane renegotiated the agreement in December 2018.

In an email Wednesday, commission Chairman Robert Davis said the commission agreed to the TSA extension this month after it had received confirmation in writing from the developer that the original terms of the guarantee would remain in place.

Jim Malachowski, chairman of Providence-based RDW Group, and a spokesman for the developer, said the disagreement over the deadline related to the lack of a final design for the building, which sets the amount of a fee to be paid to the city.

The architect for Fane is working collaboratively with a design consultant hired by the commission, according to Malachowski, but as of the original deadline had not been able to arrive at a final cost estimate for the project because several details on the final design were not complete.

On Wednesday, Malachowski released a statement: “The Fane Organization continues to work collaboratively with the 195 commission. The Fane Organization will be submitting a proposed final design for the project and is looking forward to the 195 commission’s vote as part of their design review process. Approval of the final design is a critical milestone for the project, which will allow Fane to proceed on a number of other fronts.”

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

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