Providence City Council gives support for tax break to redevelop Superman Building

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The future of the Superman Building cleared major hurdle Thursday night after the Providence City Council voted in favor of a tax stabilization agreement.

The council approved the tax breaks on a 11-1 vote, with three councilors abstaining. The agreement does have to go through another vote with the council, but the numbers of yes votes is not expected to change.

The tax stabilizations agreement (TSA) will see the developer, High Rock Westminster, get a nearly $30 million tax break from the city to develop the project.

The project calls for 285 apartment units with 20% of the those unites set aside as affordable housing units.

“The Superman building will embody the spirit of a new beginning in downtown Providence. The redevelopment of this iconic but sadly dormant building will revitalize our capital city, encourage more investment, and create opportunities for all of us,” said council president John Igliozzi.

“Ultimately, these redevelopment plans will further stimulate our local economy, reinvigorate our downtown, and further build up this growing and vibrant residential and commercial neighborhood,” added councilman John Goncalves.

The project is also expected to bring in roughly 1,600 construction jobs.

Opponents of the project argued the tax break will see taxpayers footing the bill on high-end apartments that most residents won’t be able to afford and does nothing to improve affordable housing in the city.

One of the opponents who spoke out Thursday evening was Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris.

She explained, “My neighbors are saying affordable for who? Affordable for who?… Although I do want to see the Superman Building built, I’m torn between the fact that it’s not a good time right now.”

The council is expected to give final passage in two weeks and the agreement will then go to Mayor Jorge Elorza’s desk, who is expected to sign.

Categories: News, Rhode Island