Providence's "Superman" building could be converted into apartments

Jan 30, 2013

The Industrial Trust tower could be converted into apartments
Credit RIPR file

The downtown Providence skyscraper affectionately known as the “Superman building” may be getting a new lease on life.  The 26 story office building may be going residential.

Providence developer Arnold “Buff” Chace says he has been hired by the owner of the Superman building to conduct a feasibility study into turning it into an apartment building. 

The Art Deco edifice on Kennedy Plaza has been a bank since it was built in the 1920's. But its current occupant, Bank of America, is leaving in March, raising the specter that one of the city’s most prominent buildings could go dark. Chace says the owner of the building is keen to make the conversion happen if it’s economically feasible.

“Well I know the owner’s motivated. He hired us because that’s what we do. But it’s going to require everyone to put their shoulder to the wheel,” says Chase. “I’m very hopeful it will work but it’s too premature to say. We won’t really know till the March timeframe.”

Chace wouldn’t hazard a guess on what the massive conversion could cost.  But he says state and federal historic tax credits would have to be part of the financing package.

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