Providence Planning Committee advances plan for apartment complex on Wickenden Street

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Planning committee members voted Monday night for a massive mixed-use project on Wickenden Street in Providence to clear an initial hurdle.

The vote ended with approval to move the project forward with a laundry list of conditions. 

Community members in Fox Point have been campaigning against the proposed five-story, 62 unit apartment complex for months and came out to make their voices heard.

One community member said, “No self-respecting citizen, planning official, neighborhood group, or local resident should allow this turkey to get off the drawing board. I have a reputation of being anti-development, and that’s not true. I’m very pro-development, but I absolutely encourage smart, intelligent, creative, economically viable, sustainable development — and this is not that.”

The building would also include multiple commercial spots below the apartments, and parking under the building.

A majority of the public comment portion of the meeting was in opposition to the proposed building. However, several younger renters voiced their support for the project, saying Providence needs housing one way or another.

“The city refuses to change to accommodate young people and renters. I am fully in support of this project tonight because it opens opportunities for people to rent in this city, to live on low and middle incomes,” one resident in favor of the project said.

After hours of discussion, the board voted to approve the projects master plan request, meaning the developer, Fox Point Capital LLC, can move forward with the project but there are stipulations.

Those stipulations include taking a closer look at landscaping, drainage, signage, and parking for deliveries, as well as the company taking another look at how it can reduce the size of its proposed fifth floor.

Community members told ABC 6 News the project moving forward is certainly a blow.

“It’s very discouraging to go to meeting after meeting after meeting, to very clearly see the support of so many people, so many small businesses, and the abutters supporting the denial of a project that very clearly doesn’t belong on this very quaint street. You know it is very hard for people to keep their hopes up,” Lily Bogosian with the Fox Point Neighborhood Association said.

According to staff with the committee, there is no timeline for the project to appear again, meaning it could be some time before the developer can meet the new requirements and present again.

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island