City Plan Commission To Hear New Fane Tower Proposal

Apr 25, 2018

Helium balloons demonstrating how tall the proposed Hope Point Tower would be.
Credit Talia Blake / RIPR

The Providence city plan commission will meet Wednesday to review plans for a new skyscraper proposed for the city’s Jewelry District. 

The Fane Organization is seeking a zoning change for its proposed Hope Point Tower. The request would allow the building to be as tall as 600 feet. However, not everyone is excited about these potential changes.

Sharon Steele, Jewelry District Association President, partnered with Olin Thompson to try to demonstrate what the height of the building would look like on Monday using helium balloons. 

Steele said a building that tall will create a wall similar to the highway that used to be there. She said that would cut off pedestrian and bike access to College Hill. 

"That was the whole point of knitting the city back together again. And so now we have something that is literally going to obstruct that view and block it," Steele said. 

But, Dante Bellini, Fane organization spokesman, said if you look at great emerging cities, like Boston or Toronto, they are going vertical resulting in a lot of energy in the city. Bellini said this proposal could be a catalyst to help energize Providence. 

"We respect their opinion and everyone’s opinion. But, there’s a reason why cities grow. Some cities grow and others cities don’t," said Bellini. 

Bellini adds the company looks forward to discussing its proposal at the planning commission. However, Steele said there are plenty of other places in Providence where Fane can build a tower that wouldn't require a zoning change.