Providence apartment project at former Citizens Bank building gets waiver approval

THE PROVIDENCE CITY PLAN COMMISSION approved a waiver that will allow a 19-unit residential redevelopment project to go forward as planned at the former Citizens Bank location at 870 Westminster St. / COURTESY PROVIDENCE CITY PLAN COMMISSION

PROVIDENCE – A proposal to turn a Georgian Revival-style building that was constructed in the 1920s into 19 apartment units took a step forward on Dec. 14 when the City Plan Commission approved a waiver request from the developer.

The waiver granted for the redevelopment of the three-story building at 870 Westminster St. allows for residential use on the ground floor within 20 feet of a main street, something that otherwise would not be allowed under city zoning regulations, according to the Providence Department of Planning and Development.

City Planner Choyon Manjrekar said the project does not require master plan approval, under city zoning rules, but needed the waiver to move forward with planned ground floor apartments.

The proposal also includes 3,300 square feet of commercial use on the ground floor, according to the developer.

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The more-than-20,000-square-foot former bank building is owned by Omni West Holdings LLC, which bought the property for $1.4 million last year from IA CFG Portfolio LLC.

Mick Hogan, vice president of The Omni Group, the developer behind the proposal, said the ground floor commercial space would be safe despite being close to the street.

The company is also behind the planned redevelopment of the attached two-story structure next door, where 22 apartments are planned. Manjrekar said that project previously received a similar design waiver from the City Plan Commission.

The property was listed on the Providence Preservation Society’s 2020 Most Endangered Properties List due to the potential danger of prolonged vacancy and neglect after Citizens Bank left the building in 2019.

Marc Larocque is a PBN staff writer. Contact him at Larocque@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter @LaRockPBN.

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