Providence, RI – After a two hour public hearing and testimony from dozens of citizens, the City Council finance committee approved a 30-year tax stabilization agreement (TSA) ordinance between the city and High Rock Westminster Street LLC, the owner of 111 Westminster Street, commonly known as the Superman building in downtown Providence.
“We heard from many members of the community tonight on this proposal to redevelop the Superman building, a massive skyscraper that has laid dormant and dark for nearly 10 years. There’s no question the property has become a black eye in the center of the capital city,” said Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5), Chairwoman of the finance committee. “The owner has agreed to a unprecedented $223 million public-private partnership project that will bring more than 1,600 good-paying construction jobs downtown and create new housing opportunities, including affordable units. The TSA is one critical component that allows the building owner to make this significant investment in Providence, and without an agreement, as we heard tonight, the project would die. It’s clear we need to move forward and transform a dilapidated property back into a vibrant economic engine,” added Ryan.
The proposed project calls for 285 residential apartments, with 20% of the units deed restricted as affordable. The building owner has committed to a mix of retail and community space in the Grand Banking Hall, opening the building’s doors to all. A “Buy Providence” initiative is also included in the TSA, where the owner will use good faith efforts to buy construction materials, use equipment and services from city vendors. The ordinance now moves before the full City Council and requires two passages. A copy of the TSA agreement is posted here.