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No winners in lengthy Fane saga
The Fane Tower saga is mercifully over in Providence, leaving both the city and developer bruised in the seven-year process. In the end, it wasn’t vocal critics who killed the $300 million project. It was a multiyear pandemic, rising interest rates and an uncertain market for the luxury housing that would have filled much of…
Too much blaming others for the failures of downtown Providence. We need leaders who understand the plus and minus of the the city as an investment haven and take meaningful actions in response. What we don’t need is leaders who are weathervanes responding to any whim of the public. Stating we need major commercial investment that produces job especially in the biotech industries is motherhood and ignores why in over 30 years none of that has happened. Remember Lincoln Chaffee and his team visits to Pittsburgh to learn about the power of health sciences/biotech as model for here? Look at the 30 year old Capital District where the only commercial projects – the Blue Cross building and IGT were offices moving from within the state. There are no new businesses there coming from outside the State. A similar situation exists in the down city area and the I-195 district. And the response is not to explain why big commercial projects are not happening and seeking corrective action, but to dump on residential projects. With that spirit the city will get no new investment. The lag in time on the renovation of the Superman building is a perfect example of how RI ignores reality of office conversion. In a recent interview the Governor of New York said when discussing office to residential conversions there – “we are not sitting on our hands” in referencing the need to understand the financial aspects of conversions and the need to incentive conversions. In RI, we sit on our hands and complain about greedy investors. Not a great welcoming environment.