Zoning changes for proposed Hope Point Tower head to City Council

A rendering of what the proposed Hope Point Tower in Providence would look like next to other city buildings. (Fane Organization)

A controversial project in Providence took one step forward Thursday night during a Committee on Ordinances meeting.

The committee voted 4-2, recommending zoning changes to accommodate the proposed 530-square foot Hope Tower along the Providence riverfront.

The City Council will now decide the fate of the project.

“It will be a catalyst for downtown and it will be a symbol to the rest of the country that Providence is moving ahead,” said Dante Bellini, a spokesperson for New York Developer Jason Fane.

The Fane Organization is asking the City Council for a zoning change. Current zoning allows for a 100-foot structure on the proposed plot of land, which is part of the 195 Redevelopment District.

The proposed tower would be nearly 600-feet tall.

“We need projects like this,” said Bryan Principe. “We just need them in an appropriate location.”

Councilman Bryan Principe of Ward 13 in Providence said changing zoning is a “slippery slope.”

“If we’re going to compromise on zoning, we’re comprising the structure of our city,” Principe told NBC 10 News.

Other city councilors believe the project fits in with plans for the 195 Redevelopment District.

Bellini agrees.

“I think all of these points and concerns and arguments have been well vetted,” he said.

Some councilors argued that the $300 million investment for luxury living is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Providence. One the Fane organization promises will bring jobs and economic development.

But those who already live in apartments in Providence said they aren’t sold on the idea.

“We love the city, but to build another huge version of the same thing is a mistake,” said Carla Ricci.

“The millennium folk want to walk to work, bike to work and live nearby,” her husband Russ added. “Building a tower for millionaires doesn’t do it,” he told NBC 10.

The full council is scheduled to meet next Thursday. It’s not clear if this issue will be on the agenda.

“There are frustrations along the way, but we’re here right now, and we’re gratified, and hopefully we’ll prevail next week.”

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