I-195 Commission considers new guidelines calling for taller buildings, less housing

THE I-195 REDEVELOPMENT District Commission will consider changes to development guidelines in December. / PBN PHOTO MARY MACDONALD
THE I-195 REDEVELOPMENT District Commission will consider changes to development guidelines in December. / PBN PHOTO MARY MACDONALD
PROVIDENCE – Prompted by a new state law that allows large economic development districts to bypass local zoning, the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission is considering changes that would encourage much taller buildings along Interstate 95 while discouraging residential buildings in the Jewelry District area. The commission’s design consultant on Wednesday recommended new building height guidelines…

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Ignoring what the market says is a serious blunder. It’s not like we don’t have experience with the challenges of development as the Capital district so aptly tells us. Now some 20+ years later we still have several unoccupied parcels there. If we had restricted that development to only offices we would have only two buildings there. The problem in downtown defined into three components – capital district, down city core and the jewelry district – is there are too many open lots and not enough investment. To restrict the type of development is to compound that situation. I have often gone to San Diego for part of the winter and on every occasion, I see numerous cranes in the sky and all are devoted to a residential project. In fact, I can’t remember one for the construction of an office tower though some may have been constructed. And unlike Providence, San Diego is still a high growth area. The Commission would do well to think about this experience before implementing this proposal.

  2. On further comment to clarify. I totally support the increase in the zoning height. The current 100 ft limit is restrictive and assumes that economic feasibility of a residential or commercial project, no matter the footprint, is attractive with that height restriction, about a ten story building. Not true.