Proposal to replace Beresford-Nicholson estate with 10 house lots draws opposition

THE BILOTTI GROUP and Nicholson 2018 LLC, owner of the Beresford-Nicholson Estate on Blackstone Boulevard in Providence, which includes a greenhouse and gardener's house in addition to the main house, above, have proposed to raze the structures and convert the property to 10 house lots. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MARY MACDONALD
THE BILOTTI GROUP and Nicholson 2018 LLC, owner of the Beresford-Nicholson Estate on Blackstone Boulevard in Providence, which includes a greenhouse and gardener's house in addition to the main house, above, have proposed to raze the structures and convert the property to 10 house lots. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MARY MACDONALD

PROVIDENCE – A proposal to demolish historical structures on the Beresford-Nicholson Estate and convert the property to 10 house lots has generated community opposition in the Blackstone Boulevard area.

The proposal is on the agenda of the Providence City Plan Commission Tuesday as a subdivision request.

An online petition, filed on Change.org, has collected 378 signatures. The petition, created by “Historic Blackstone Boulevard Neighborhood,” argues that replacing the historic structures, including a house built in 1909, with 10 newly constructed homes will over-crowd the site and impact the economic stability of the East Side community.

“The proposed suburban-scale development will have a deleterious impact on the lives of residents and visitors,” the petition states. “Its consequences will include damage to foundations of abutting properties; negative environmental impact on water table, air quality, natural habitats of flora and fauna; safety hazards caused by an open, three-to-four-year excavation and construction site…”

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The estate, which includes a main house and several auxiliary buildings, sits on 3 acres over three lots, at 288 Blackstone Blvd. and 315 and 325 Slater Ave.

The plan proposed by owner Nicholson 2018 LLC and The Bilotti Group, of Cranston, would convert the three lots to 10 house lots for new construction, and demolish the existing structures, according to the filing with the city.

The Providence Preservation Society, which is following the project, said the property is not in a local historic district, so demolition and new construction design would not come before the city’s Historic District Commission.

A public hearing is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. Tuesday at the City Plan Commission meeting, at 444 Westminster St., Providence.

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

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