PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A five-story development proposed for Fox Point is drawing ire from concerned neighbors and business owners, most of whom are worried it won’t match the historic neighborhood.
The 62-unit development, if approved, would be built on Wickenden Street. The proposal would require the demolition of two existing buildings.
“This complex is the antithesis of everything that represents Wickenden Street,” Interim President of the Fox Point Neighborhood Association Lily Bogosian said.
Dozens of residents packed Tuesday night’s Providence Planning Commission hearing to express their concerns, most of which calling the proposal a monstrous imposition on the unique and eclectic street.
“This proposal is one more that will destroy the historic fabric of Fox Point until nothing but a memory remains,” said Sharon Steele, president of the Jewelry District Association.
“This development will change Wickenden Street beyond comparison,” resident Daisy Schnepel added.
(Story continues below. gallery.)
Attorney Dylan Conley attended the hearing on behalf of the developer, Fox Point Capital LLC. He reassured residents that the architect is taking their concerns into account by lowering the roof and reworking the design so it looks like three separate buildings.
Though most residents are against the proposal, others support the idea in favor of more housing.
“Providence is suffering from a severe housing shortage which will, if not addressed, choke off the vibrancy of the city,” resident Kathleen Gannon said.
“We don’t have a shortage of historic buildings in Providence,” resident Ian Saxine added. “We do have a shortage of affordable housing.”
The Providence Planning Commission decided to approve the development’s master plan, but not without a laundry list of conditions that the developer now has to return to the drawing board with.