Redevelopment project for former Citizens Bank property criticized

A PROPOSED REDEVELOPMENT of the former Citizens Bank property in Canonicus Square in Providence is being challenged for its design. The new plan would include three new buildings of apartments and a mixed-use redevelopment of the historical bank property and annex. / RENDERING COURTESY CITY OF PROVIDENCE

PROVIDENCE – A proposal to build new apartments and convert a former bank building into a mixed-use property is getting criticism from its host community.

The West Broadway Neighborhood Association recently distributed an email newsletter inviting community residents to a public meeting on the project, hosted by Providence City Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris.

The meeting, which will be rescheduled due to a conflict, concerns the redevelopment proposed by The Omni Group for the former Citizens Bank property at Canonicus Square. It will feature a presentation by the development team and allow neighbors to ask questions.

The proposal gained a preliminary approval last month from the Providence City Plan Commission.

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Criticisms of the project, as outlined in the neighborhood association newsletter, include the lack of street-level commercial space in the three new buildings fronting Westminster Street and the absence of affordable housing in the planned units.

The email stated: “This critical gateway to our neighborhood and the West End has the potential to realize a neighborhood vision that has been written into neighborhood and comprehensive plans since 1992, including the reconnection of our neighborhood to downtown, and more continuous built ‘main street’ streetscapes that serve neighbors through ground-floor retail and mixed-use development.”

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

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